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AUSTRALIA: Planning uneaseness to be addressed at citizen democracy forum

Canberra, Apr.29.─ A community forum will brainstorm new ways of engaging the public on major developments, due to Canberrans' growing unease about how planning decisions are being made in the city.

The Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy's (CAPaD) public discussion about community engagement in Canberra will unite community councils and residents groups this Sunday to find practical solutions to one of the most fraught areas of public policy in the ACT.

The group said the adverse reaction to redevelopments at Manuka Oval, Yarralumla Brickworks, West Basin, Currong Flats and public housing in Weston Creek showed the current method of consultation was little more than "lip service".

Trevor Powell"We recognise that a city doesn't stay the same but change with the evolving times but the changing times also involves the people who live there now not just the people who want to make money out of particular aspects of development," CAPaD committee member Trevor Powell said.

"Our thesis really and this has been established in different places around the world, before you actually put specific proposals, you use the citizens to help explain and to guide the planning processes so in fact you end up with a win-win in that situation rather than a win-lose situation which appears to be the modern trend."

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