Greens call on Government to consult community on new land agencies and combat cowboy culture

The ACT Greens welcome legislation tabled today to restructure the troubled Land Development Agency (LDA) into two separate agencies that will concentrate on suburban development and on city urban renewal.

“This restructure presents an enormous opportunity for the Government to effectively deliver affordable housing, as well as sustainable and inclusive urban and suburban development outcomes, which were historically the responsibility of the highly problematic LDA,” said ACT Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur.

“We welcome the Government’s assurances in today’s announcement that urban renewal will be design-led and people-focussed moving forward. It is the long-held view of the ACT Greens that Canberrans deserve a smart, sustainable and fair planning system that meets our community’s needs.

“However, it does not bode well that the ACT Government has yet to consult with Canberrans on the decision to create these new agencies. To allay these concerns, I call on the ACT Government to release details of the scope and timing of community consultation on the establishment, functions and responsibilities of the two new agencies as soon as possible.

“We would also like to hear from the Chief Minister about how these agencies will interact with ACTPLA, and whether strategic planning will be lead by ACTPLA, rather than by development agencies.

“This is also an unprecedented opportunity for the Government to establish new cultures within each of these new organisations. In line with the Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement, we call on the Government to ensure that both agencies have strong, independent, and community-focused boards with extensive experience in social and community housing and environmental sustainability. The Government must ensure that there is no repeat of the LDA’s ‘cowboy culture’ in our Territory,” Ms Le Couteur added.