ACT election 2020: Labor and Liberals present plans for Canberra's future

www.canberratimes.com.au
5 min read
fairly difficult
Grow up or grow out? They are the competing visions for Canberra's future put forward by ACT Labor and Canberra Liberals.
news, act-politics, 2020 act election, andrew barr, alistair coe, canberra planning, canberra development, build up not out

Grow up or grow out. Reduced to their essence, these are the competing visions ACT Labor and Canberra Liberals have put forward for the future of the Bush capital. Andrew Barr's Labor is planning for a "compact" city, in which the rate of construction of apartments and townhouses in established suburbs vastly outpaces development on the suburban fringes. Alistair Coe's Liberals, in contrast, want to release more land on the outskirts of the ACT for detached housing, giving more young families the opportunity to realise buy a home in Canberra, rather than in Queanbeyan, Googong or Yass. Labor Planning Minister Mick Gentleman, the Liberals' planning spokesman Mark Parton and Greens leader Shane Rattenbury laid out their respective parties' visions for Canberra's future at an election forum hosted by the Property Council and Master Builders Association on Thursday afternoon. Their audience was a selection of the biggest players in the capital's property sector: the developers, builders and consultants whose next four years will be framed, in part, by which party forms government after October 17. Mr Gentleman, the territory's Planning Minister since 2016, said the election "will decide the future of Canberra". The statement is self-evident, and typical of the "there has never been a more important time" rhetoric repeated throughout election campaigns. But it does carry some substance given the clear divide between the major parties on planning Canberra's future. A re-elected Barr Labor government would continue on the path mapped out in its 2018 planning strategy, the document which set the target for 70 per cent of all new dwellings to be built in established suburbs. It would continue to sell single residential blocks in greenfield estates in Gungahlin, the Molonglo Valley and through its Ginninderry joint venture in West Belconnen. Mr…
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