Tag Archives: infill policy

The Project Reference Group

The early meetings of the Project Reference Group (PRG) for the Hawker master plan set the ground rules;  in particular, it was explained that the PRG was advisory only and that ultimate responsibility for decision-making lay with the LDA.  The Government’s infill policy was outlined, with the development of high-rise residential accommodation in group centres being a specified percentage of expected overall need.  Because Hawker was smaller than most group centres, the amount of residential demanded would be less than the average.  This was the last time residential development in the Hawker Centre was discussed until the end of the year.  The focus of all subsequent discussions was on the need to expand retail – otherwise, the centre would decline, just like the local centres in the area had.  No substantive justification was given for this claim, it seemed to be a matter of obvious faith.

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The Chief Minister and the master plan

A major result was achieved on 23 November 2010 when representatives of FoHV met with the then Chief Minister, Jon  Stanhope.  He was accompanied by David Dawes, head of the Land Development Agency (which is responsible for selling ACT-owned land).  FoHV expressed a concern that the infill process at Hawker appeared rather ad hoc and that a master plan for the suburb might bring some cohesion to the process and assuage community concerns.  The  Chief Minister assented to this idea and proposed that the master planning be advised by a Project Reference Group comprising relevant parties, including FoHV (see Chief Minister’s Press Release 2 Dec 2010 and the Hawker video).  FoHV were encouraged by this concession as it provided the opportunity for community concerns to be discussed and considered in the context of the Government’s infill policy.  The only disappointment was that the master plan would cover just the Hawker Centre and not the whole suburb.