FEDERAL Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs last week announced that he has asked the National Capital Authority (NCA) to investigate the potential for urban development to the west of Tuggeranong in Canberra.
"After a series of discussions with Senator Zed Seselja who is passionate about Canberra's future, I have asked the NCA to commence work to consider the development of land west of Tuggeranong, across the Murrumbidgee River," Mr Briggs said.
"Urban development in this area was considered by the National Capital Development Commission in the 1970s, but the proposal was set aside and hasn't been seriously considered until now."
The Assistant Minister described the work as an important part of the Australian Government's plan to develop opportunities that will stimulate economic growth and support new jobs in Canberra whilst also removing unnecessary red tape and regulation.
"As part of its analysis, the NCA will consult with the ACT Government and other interested stakeholders and prepare a report outlining the issues that affect the suitability of West Murrumbidgee for urban development," Mr Briggs said.
"The NCA's report will help determine if the previous environmental and infrastructure provision concerns relating to the development of West Murrumbidgee are still relevant today."
The NCA will also develop a business case to support any detailed investigations required to determine the potential for urban development in the West Murrumbidgee area.
An amendment to the National Capital Plan and a variation to the Territory Plan (administered by the ACT Government) would be required before any new urban development could proceed at West Murrumbidgee. Such an amendment would involve changing the land use policy from rural and open space zonings, to urban.
"It is important that we look at all the ways we can ensure Tuggeranong, and all of Canberra, prospers and grows in to the future," Senator Seselja said.
"Having the NCA look at this possible development is an important step forward and I encourage Canberrans to get involved in the consultation process."
The National Capital Authority has been asked to report by the end of the year.