In January the ACT government issued a discussion paper: Review of Concessional Leases, and asked for public comment by March 12. The discussion paper is available from www.actpla.act.gov.au , or from their Customer Service Centre or from all ACT Government Shopfronts. For any questions, the ACTPLA contact no is 62071716.[teaserbreak]

Some of our Council Executive have attended a workshop on this matter to learn more about the issues and to guage community reaction to the various options put forward.

Concessional leases have traditionally been issued to clubs, churches, and sporting organisations at discounted rates. From time to time they are the subject of considerable community outrage when the recipient of the discounted lease wishes to convert all or part of the lease to such things as housing and then sell them for profit.

There are many views in the community. For example, the Canberra Property Owners Association, according to the Canberra Times 5 January, believes “there are many redundant sportsgrounds around Canberra , and other spaces set aside for clubs or churches that are now unlikely ever to be used for those purposes.” Other groups and individuals believe that these earmarked ‘community areas’ should not readily be given over to residential or business development; and that Variation 200 to the Territory Plan already allows very considerable residential infill in all our suburbs without sacrificing these set-aside areas.

We encourage everybody interested in this matter to get the discussion paper and then either let their views be known to ACTPLA or to us. We will be making a submission before 12 March based on views put to us. Unfortunately we do not have time to have a public meeting on this important issue before the consultation period closes.

Our next public meeting, 7.30pm Wed 3 rd March 2004 at the Hellenic Club, Orpheus Room will be a presentation by Roads ACT on a sample range of road services & how they are delivered to our community, focussing on infrastructure assets & traffic management issues of interest to the Woden Community. There will also be lots of opportunity to raise local road concerns. Please come if you have any interest in this matter, or if you wish to pass on your views to us about Concessional Leases.

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