GOAL Create and maintain a healthy community

OBJECTIVE — Facilitate the equitable distribution of services and facilities, including education and health care, arts and recreational facilities

Canberrans have traditionally enjoyed good access to services and facilities, such as schools and health services (including hospitals and child care), sport and recreation facilities, community facilities and religious and cultural facilities.

As the ACT’s population ages there will be increased and changing demands for health services and facilities. A key trend is the move to more community-based health care facilities and services, within established and new urban areas of the ACT. Also, the ageing population in the ACT will affect the school enrolment levels, leading to declining enrolment numbers in some schools. The Economic White Paper includes strategies to improve the quality and range of education options within the Territory and strengthen partnerships between educational institutions and industry, which the Spatial Plan seeks to support through a range of initiatives. The Social Plan has a strong emphasis on supporting the disadvantaged in our community and ensuring children have the best opportunities to learn and become successful members of the community. The Spatial Plan supports these objectives.

Policy response
  • Planning for community services and facilities will be based on the need to:
  • retain flexibility to respond to emerging needs and changing conditions;
  • determine needs and priorities of the local population as people move into areas;
  • foster cooperative commitment amongst service providers; and
  • adapt solutions to local circumstances and priorities.
  • All new greenfields areas and redevelopment and urban renewal sites will have access to the range of services, facilities and infrastructure required to meet the needs of the communities, including telecommunications. The monitoring and refining of population forecasts as population growth occurs will be integral to this planning. The urban settlement pattern will ensure that new residential areas maximise the use of and access to existing community facilities and services.
  • Residential areas will be located close to existing services, infrastructure and facilities to facilitate improved efficiency of urban infrastructure.
  • New greenfield development areas will be carefully managed to ensure these communities are provided with services and other facilities as early as possible.
  • Schools will be provided in new settlement areas. The implementation strategy for the Spatial Plan will ensure that thresholds for facilities are reached in a timely manner so residents have equitable access to educational facilities. The sequence of development and the provision of infrastructure will be programmed so that maximum efficiency of the schools infrastructure provided in these areas will be achieved.
  • Flexibility in the use of sites and facilities for health care and other community services will be encouraged so that changing needs can be quickly and efficiently accommodated.
  • Well located sites will be provided in new urban areas to cater for the anticipated range of community health care and other facility needs.
  • Consultation and liaison will continue with Government agencies, service providers and peak community and industry groups to ensure that adequate and appropriate community services sites and relevant infrastructure are provided and maintained within the ACT, both within existing areas and proposed new areas. This includes ensuring appropriate location of schools, colleges, child care centres, health facilities and other community services.
  • Detailed structure planning will address the need for educational facilities, health care services and facilities within new urban areas, including ensuring services and facilities are provided during stages of development to meet community needs in new areas.
  • Assess the need for additional arts, cultural and community facilities within Civic and the town centres.
  • Accessibility of community, recreation and cultural facilities and activities.
  • Accessibility of health facilities and service
Monitoring indicators
  • The average frequency of public transport services to health, education, community and recreation facilities.
  • The average distance users travel to access health, education, community and recreation facilities.
  • The number of students in previously declining school catchments.
  • Occupancy of schools as a ratio of physical capacity.
  • Waiting lists for schools, educational facilities and child care centres.