A perception of bias

Master plans are usually compiled by the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) which is responsible for the overall planning of Canberra, taking in a range of factors including social well-being.  FoHV were, therefore, disturbed that the Hawker master plan was to be undertaken by LDA, which is responsible for the sale of Territory-owned land.  Its role includes determining how a particular piece of land could be developed, with a view to ascertaining a reasonable expectation of the sale price.  As part of the Economic Development Directorate, its aim is to maximise returns to the ACT Government.  Its approach, therefore, is one of a real estate agent, not one of a good planner concerned about the effect of development on the citizens of Canberra.  FoHV were further concerned to find that the PRG meetings were to be chaired by David Dawes, the head of the then Department of Land and Property Services (which included LDA), and facilitated by the same consultant who ran the public information session on 26 June 2010.  Many of the consultants already contracted to do research for the master plan had also been involved previously with the proposed sale of Hawker car parks.  These concerns were discussed at the second meeting of the PRG on 2 March 2011 where it was made clear that no changes would be made to these arrangements.


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