27 September 2023

New planning strategy a blueprint for future

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A newly refreshed strategy for planning in the ACT has been unveiled by the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, building on a 2012 strategy and reflecting the needs and opportunities of the Canberra of today and into the future.

Mr Gentleman said a forecast population of half a million by 2030, commitments to a carbon neutral future, a light rail network and an urban renewal program were just some of the significant changes the ACT had seen since the strategy was last released in 2012.

“We want to protect what’s unique about our city and maintain the natural setting that Canberrans value,” Mr Gentleman said, “but if we keep growing outwards we will significantly eat into the highly valued bush and grassland environments.”

“The 2018 Planning Strategy recognises the need to protect these defining elements of our city — our green space, diversity of lifestyle choices and our bushland setting.”

He said that to plan for growth, the strategy highlighted the development of land in the central business district, town centres and dedicated major transport corridors.

“The strategy is setting directions for the future; for Canberra as an attractive, equitable and competitive city, one that current and future citizens and visitors enjoy,” Mr Gentleman said.

“I’m pleased to say that the voice of the community has been a key part of forming this strategy.”

He said that while the strategy was underpinned by research and evidence, the ideas and actions that emerged during 13 weeks of community engagement helped drive and inform the strategy and its directions.

He said the community had sent a strong message that continued sprawl into bushland was not sustainable and that Canberra should have more density within the city, as long as it was delivered with green spaces, trees and an ongoing respect for the natural environment.

“This strategy sets out how we’ll create accessible and diverse spaces that connect people and communities,” the Minister said.

“This work is an important step in the planning process for our city and provides a foundation for our review of the Territory Plan commencing early next year.”

The 108-page refreshed Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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