The Community Action Party believes that Canberra's role and function as the national capital is fundamental to the success and future of the ACT and to the planning that underpins it.
Canberra is still a beautiful city. In recent years, however, it seems that the planners have abandoned the original vision for Canberra and eroded its functionality and aesthetics. The Party will work with the community, planners, the Commonwealth Government and others to restore an appropriate long-term vision to ACT planning.
A vision for the ACT
In collaboration with the wider community, the Party will develop a vision for the ACT that recognises its role as the national capital and as a functional and pleasant home to its 400,000+ residents.
The Party will genuinely consult with communities and others to develop a long-term strategic plan for Canberra based on the appropriate vision. This will include economic, social, and environmental objectives.
The Party supports the call from the combined community councils for a new Territory Plan that more accurately reflects the aspirations of the community.
The Party will work with the relevant community councils and ACT Chamber of Commerce to develop coherent master plans for the ongoing development of Civic and the other town centres so that they are well-planned, well-maintained and as safe and attractive as possible.
The neighbourhood basis for planning will be supported across the entire ACT.
The Party will revive local planning and advisory committees to broaden community input into the direction of ACT urban planning and development.
Ecologically sensitive areas will be valued and protected; public lands, including lake foreshores, will remain publicly accessible. The Party is totally opposed to the West Basin project which entails filling in part of Lake Burley Griffin and constructing apartment blocks along the shoreline.
Proposed future development of the ACT will be assessed on its economic and environmental sustainability and the extent to which it builds community cohesion. These factors should take priority over maximising income from land sales.
The Party will amend the Planning and Development Act 2007 to ensure prompt public notification of all proposed developments, and genuine public consultation and rights of objection and appeal in relation to potentially adverse development applications.
The Party is opposed to any development in Central Molonglo.
The Party is opposed to the rezoning of 'horse agistments' for residential development, as well as the development of the Curtin horse paddocks for embassies.
The Party will amend the Planning and Development Act 2007 to restore ministerial accountability for planning and development. For example:
1). The Minister will be required to present all environmental impact statements to the Legislative Assembly for approval;
2). Exemptions for development applications from environmental impact statements will be subject to the Legislative Assembly and a reinstated planning and land council, and
3). Ministerial 'call-in powers' will be subject to a re-instated planning and land council, the Legislative Assembly and the Courts.
ACT planning administration
The Party will work for better co-ordination and a cooperative relationship between the ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSD) and the National Capital Authority.
The Party will ensure improved governance and accountability arrangements in the ACT EPSD Directorate.
The Party will undertake a priority review of the role, function, powers, management and legislative basis of the ACT City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency with a view to making them more publicly accountable, simplifying processes, enhancing transparency and reducing red tape.