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Build Canberra as a compact city (current area is 814.2 km²), a liveable city enjoyed by all, a city of choice with a dynamic heart, and a place where natural and cultural heritage are respected and protected.

ACT building standards must be set to meet ACT targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

The ACT should be planning for food security and food sovereignty for the longer term, to take account of the many factors that can affect supply of adequate quantities of nutritious food including population pressures, peak oil and climate change. The ACT and surrounding region have food production potential to meet the needs of the ACT, so planning should be informed by engagement with stakeholders across the region, from business and farmers to local and State governments.

The Planning Strategy adopted 26 June 2012 replaced the Canberra Spatial Plan to provide long-term planning policy and goals to promote orderly and sustainable development, consistent with the ACT’s social, environmental and economic aspirations. A long-term planning strategy is required under the Planning and Development Act 2007 and a review is due in 2017.

The Strategy says: It will guide the planning and development of Canberra to ‘be recognised throughout the world as a truly sustainable and creative city.’

  1. In 2030 Canberra will be a city that makes it easy for people to make more sustainable living choices and has the resourcefulness and capacity to manage change.
  2. In 2030 Canberra will be a city where everyone can take advantage of its network of centres, open spaces and modes of travel to enjoy a sense of wellbeing and participate in a vibrant civic and cultural life.
  3. In 2030 Canberra will be at the centre of an innovative, prosperous region that has established a diverse ‘clean’ economy and has a wide choice in jobs and lifestyles.
  4. In 2030 Canberra will be the ‘capital in the bush’, recognised for the quality of its public places and buildings that reflect its unique climate, character and identity.
  5. In 2030 Canberra will be at the centre of a region that demonstrates the benefits of good stewardship of the land, its resources and the beauty of its rivers, mountains and plains.

We support the existing Planning Strategy noting that many measures have not been implemented resulting in disjunction between the vision and aims of the Strategy and what is implemented through the sum of planning decisions. We need to integrate high level planning policy into operational delivery of planning.

We need a regular, independent report card on delivery of the Planning Strategy in meeting it long-term goals.

Implement key measures of the Planning Strategy

  • Key measures of the Planning Strategy needing to be implemented include:
    • Improve everyone’s mobility and choice of convenient travel by integrating design and investment of various networks and transport systems with the land uses they serve.
    • Investigate a schedule of incentives to reward residential developments that incorporate universal housing, affordable housing and environmental sustainability measures that go beyond best practice
    • Ensure everyone has convenient access to a range of facilities, services and opportunities for social interaction by reinforcing role of group and local centres as community hubs.
    • Value the land and natural resources of the region by working collaboratively to manage urban growth, ensure connectivity and continuity in the natural systems and, where appropriate, conserve agriculturally productive land.

Building Standards – improve and apply

  • Energy Efficiency Ratings: regulate to require higher EER standards for all buildings, residential and commercial, new and existing
  • Energy Efficiency: provide advice and assistance for improving energy efficiency
  • Compliance: Establish a compliance unit to ensure building standards and codes are met.

Food Policy for a resilient future

  • Food Council: Support establishment of ACT Region Food Council – an independent advisory body, funded to drive a regional food plan.
  • Benchmark food production and consumption patterns in ACT and region: Support independent body to undertake a data snapshot of our food system to further inform understanding of regional food consumption, and explore current barriers to regional food production and consumption.
  • Plan for Food Supply: Include food supply as a fundamental planning parameter
  • Create a zoning/ planning layer within ACT Territory Plan for “urban agriculture” for both intensive agriculture and community use: Ensure existing agricultural assets such as the Pialligo Orchards, Tharwa Valley (Paddy’s River) and the Majura Valley are maintained and protected with a master plan for agriculture.
  • Create a register of unleased public land with agriculture potential: List areas with potential for community gardens, agriculture enterprises and other uses, and call for expressions of interest to manage this land

Community Input into Planning Processes

  • Planning Advisor: fund community organisation to employ a community planning advisor who would look at overall planning policies as well as specific Development Applications. A key role would be to advise on best practice planning principles and policies. The advisor would coordinate community responses as well as assist in submissions to government on broad planning issues.

Urban form for high-quality for living next to with nature

  • No new green fields development: draw a line around our urban boundary
  • Increase density through best practice infill development that ensures a high quality of life for all residents, green infrastructure and space for nature throughout the city, and adequate services.
  • Support our bush capital suburbs with gardens, public parks, trees and other green infrastructure. Include measures to incentivise preserving private garden space and reduce house size in total and as a % of block size.

Urban Planning for our transport future

  • Align planning and transport processes: Ensure transport plan references planning strategy and vice versa to ensure further development in Canberra aligns the transport plan and Territory Plan and planning processes
  • Provide public transport services into all new residential developments at the point of initial occupancy, so that public transport is available as soon as residents start to move into new developments.
  • Decrease road footprint: Revise planning regulations and practices, to minimise the width of roads and the amount of space devoted to driveways and by providing off-street rather than on-street parking.