The below statement is attributable to Howard Maclean, Convenor, Greater Canberra.
Greater Canberra joined with the other members of the Missing Middle Canberra coalition to call for reform to the RZ1 and RZ2 zones to allow for more gentle density because we know that Canberrans are calling out for strong action to address both our housing and climate crises. Today’s release of the Draft Territory Plan Listening Report shows a strong desire for the kinds of medium density typologies that Missing Middle Canberra’s proposed reforms would bring about.
Notably, 71% of YourSay survey respondents were supportive of universal RZ1 reform to enable dual occupancies. The report demonstrates that when concrete proposals for fair and transparent zoning reform are put on the table, the community supports them.
Broad, universal reforms that allow more density to be spread across the city are better than piecemeal rezonings, such as the “Future Investigation Areas” and “Change Areas” proposed in the District Strategies, which cause confusion and pit different suburbs against each other.
We remain concerned that the voices of young and vulnerable Canberrans are under-represented in the opt-in consultation that the report was based on. Just 13% of those who filled out the YourSay survey were under 35. The ACT Government needs to reform consultation to capture a more balanced view of the community, rather than continuing to rely on methods that bias results towards a vocal anti-housing minority. Given how skewed the consultation’s demographics were, the significance of the widespread support for universal zoning reform and medium density housing cannot be overstated. The ACT Government should act to incorporate ambitious RZ1 and RZ2 zoning reforms proposed by Missing Middle Canberra into the draft Territory Plan.
At a time when we are facing continued housing and climate crises, the ACT Government cannot afford to let an unrepresentative yet loud minority stand in the way of ambitious action to allow more medium density homes, and create a more affordable and sustainable city.
About Greater Canberra
Greater Canberra is a community advocacy group committed to affordable and high-quality housing in Canberra. We believe in a future where housing is abundant, and where everyone can enjoy a more sustainable and liveable city. For more information, see https://greatercanberra.org.