Australian Capital Territory

Draft ACT Planning Strategy launched

GREATER development in and around town and group centres and higher density housing on main transport corridors are some of the key directions contained in a draft planning strategy for the ACT.

Launched today by Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, the draft ACT Planning Strategy aims to set the direction for the future development of Canberra to ensure it remains attractive, liveable and sustainable.

When finalised, the strategy will guide Canberra's development for the next 30 years and beyond and is focused on making Canberra a compact and efficient city by building on its key strengths: its metropolitan structure, its position in the region and place as the 'bush capital'.

"This new strategy will guide Canberra's development for the next 30 years by planning a compact and sustainably efficient city," Mr Corbell said.

"It is vital we review Canberra's planning strategy to ensure our city can adapt to change and meet similar challenges to other major cities, like climate change and population growth and well as sustainable development."

A key target of the strategy is that 50 per cent of new housing will be within the established urban area of Canberra. There are nine other targets, including:

  • 75 per cent of residential urban intensification is to be in established town and group centres and along transit ways;
  • 25 per cent increase in number and percentage of dwellings that are not detached houses in each district (town); and
  • Canberra ranks in Mercer index of top 20 global cities for most 'liveable' and ranks first in Mercer index in Australia for 'eco' cities.

Mr Corbell said the strategy links closely to the recently released Transport for Canberra policy to increase patronage on public transport, as well as increase the amount of people cycling and walking.

"By having higher housing density in or close to town and group centres, and along transport corridors, we will see a reduction in the community's reliance on cars," he said.

The strategy nominates six key actions for implementation over the next five years in order to work towards achieving the community's desired vision. These key actions are:

  • Establish the locations for urban intensification that will, working with the community, deliver the planning strategy outcomes;
  • Develop a system to monitor and evaluate the effect of the residential, social and affordable housing policies;
  • Undertake a social infrastructure and community facilities strategic plan to ensure good access and equity across the city and region;
  • Prepare a risk assessment for the city's physical infrastructure, with accurate digital mapping and a system of environmental performance indicators to enable effective, sustainable management;
  • Progress the investigations to determine the appropriate future use of the non-urban land to the west of Canberra; and
  • Take the lead in a regional strategic plan to develop a more sustainable, prosperous region.

After consultation on the draft strategy, a final draft will be prepared for government consideration, accompanied by a consultation report identifying the range of responses provided by the community. It is anticipated that the ACT Planning Strategy will be adopted by government in March 2012.

The draft ACT Planning Strategy is open for consultation until Sunday 18 December. More information is available from the Time to Talk website at <http://www.timetotalk.act.gov.au/>.

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