Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann has welcomed the response from the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development to the inquiry into the allocation of land to diplomatic missions in the ACT.
“I particularly welcome the recognition that there is currently no specific plan or policy governing the location of diplomatic missions, and that administrative arrangements had evolved in an ad hoc manner, as the committee inquiry had found,” Ms Brodtmann said.
“This has meant we have seen some blocks left vacant for years, even decades, while at the same time new greenfield sites were being explored.
“I also welcome the Minister’s recognition that the needs of the residents of the Canberra community will be taken into account along with those of other stakeholders.
“For some time now I’ve been calling for a more strategic and holistic approach to the development and management of the diplomatic estate in Canberra, which is why I initiated the inquiry.
“We need an approach that takes into account the changing requirements of the diplomatic community and the needs of Canberra as a modern and diverse city.
“The Minister has now recognised and acted on this imperative. He has agreed with the committee’s recommendation that a long term strategy on the allocation of National Land for diplomatic missions be developed. He has also committed to the development of an Australian Government land allocation policy to address shortages of National Land to accommodate future diplomatic mission demand.
“I also welcome the Minister’s commitment that in the interim, as the strategy is developed, there will be careful consultation in each case with the community and the National Capital Authority.
“I am confident the changes resulting from the inquiry’s report will result in an approach that better meets the needs of the residents of Canberra and its standing as the nation’s capital, and better accommodate the changing requirements of the diplomatic communities represented here.”