Australian Capital Territory

'Time to Talk Canberra 2030' Outcomes Report released

THE ACT Government yesterday released the Outcomes Report of 'Time to Talk Canberra 2030', an initiative launched by the government last year in an effort to stimulate conversation about the future urban form of Canberra.

According to the report, Canberrans want a more compact city that will better support a public transport system and deliver a better mix of housing across the ACT.

The report also showed that people want to see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and planning laws that allow new homes to be more sustainable.

While the some people challenged the inevitability of growth, the report found that Canberrans generally recognised that Canberra will grow and must provide for the needs of the broader community.

On the subject of a more compact city, respondents emphasised the need for greater certainty about the location of increased density and expressed concern about the quality of development.

"Canberrans have told us in their tens of thousands how they want their city to look in 20 years' time and now it is up to the Government to ensure those opinions are included as we plan for the future," Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said.

The government said that Time to Talk Canberra 2030 was the biggest consultation exercise in ACT Government history. Mr Stanhope said the feedback gained through Time to Talk would be included in strategies as they are developed.

The Time to Talk consultation was carried out in late 2010. Approximately 20,000 people visited the dedicated website, where almost 34,000 opinions and comments were posted.

Online and telephone surveys were conducted with nearly 2,500 people, while hundreds more attended face-to-face forums, focus groups and workshops and provided opinions via postcards and the media.

Mr Stanhope said one of the biggest successes of Time to Talk had been its ability to engage with all age groups in Canberra, including the younger residents.

Time to Talk was based on 10 themes: Population, Water, Canberra Homes, Getting Around, Land Use and Planning, Liveability and Wellbeing, City Form, Environmental Sustainability, Living in the Nation's Capital, and 'Who Pays?'.

Mr Stanhope reiterated his commitment to seeing the views expressed through Time to Talk fed into policy development.

He said the next step will involve the government reviewing policies, such as identifying where increased density can occur, how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and how sustainable transport options can be made more convenient and accessible.

The Outcomes Report of Time to Talk Canberra 2030 is available from the Canberra 2030 website at <http://www.canberra2030.org.au/>

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