On 21 November, the first AGM of FoHV Incorporated was held. Given that the three-year moratorium placed on redevelopment of Hawker Village will have only one year to run from next February, it was agreed that efforts should be made to engage the community, including business owners, to determine preferences for the future form of Hawker Village.
It was acknowledged that the ACT Government’s policies include:
• densification of group centres to include residential to accommodate population growth;
• boosting current revenue from sale of land considered to be underutilised, especially surface car parks;
• boosting future revenue from rates and land tax;
• removing responsibility for regular maintenance of infrastructure such as car parks and public toilets by incorporating them into private property.
It is, therefore, highly unlikely that the ACT Government will accede to requests that no major changes be made to Hawker Village. The fragmented ownership of the buildings in Hawker Village means that redevelopment will be difficult and that owners are reluctant to improve their premises, so that the village has become rundown.
Accordingly, the meeting accepted that the community should debate the best form of redevelopment with a view to presenting a preferred community vision to the Government when the moratorium ends.
An important consideration for debate is the desired building height for different parts of the centre. Unless these heights are incorporated into the Territory Plan, the master plan will be ineffective.
It was agreed that a table should be erected at the shops over summer after the Christmas holidays. A question sheet will be presented for users of the shops to indicate the features they consider essential to be maintained and the changes they would like to see – what is important and what is marginally important. The aim will be to gather alternative ideas and to find a satisfactory compromise.
A suggestion that Hawker Village become a single, internal, airconditioned space, like the Jamison Centre, was contrasted with the fact that many residents prefer the outdoor feel as currently exists. How to find a compromise between those who want to be protected from the weather and those who like to sit in the fresh air is a typical example of the issues to be encountered.