The ACT government will look across the border for future greenfield developments as moves are being made to allow the government's agency responsible for development to buy land in NSW.
Legislation before the territory's Legislative Assembly would give the ACT government's Suburban Land Agency the legal capacity to purchase land across the border.
However, the ACT government has not said what land, if any, it is looking at.
While most of the territory's new housing stock will be within existing suburbs and dominated by higher density blocks, the territory government said the only way it can shore up supply of greenfield land is to look over the border.
The ACT's housing strategy has planned for 70 per cent of development to be urban infill and 30 per cent in greenfield sites but there is a lack of available land in the territory for greenfield opportunities.
"The vast majority of future growth will be within our existing urban footprint through a range of future developments," an ACT government spokeswoman said.
"Critical to future-proofing greenfield development sites, however, is the consideration of possible extensions beyond the limit of the ACT's borders.
"The ACT government has not forecast any additional future specific cross-border developments, such as Ginninderry, at this time."
The spokeswoman would not reveal what, if any, parcels of land were being considered.
"Disclosure of land that may be under consideration would not be possible for commercial reasons," she said.
Housing and Suburban Development Minister Yvette Berry introduced the amendment bill to the ACT's parliament to make way for the change.
Under the current City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency Act, the agency has the authority to "buy and sell leases of land on behalf of the territory".
Ms Berry's amendment would remove "leases of" from this part of the bill as it would allow the Suburban Land Agency to buy freehold land.
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"Most land in NSW is held by its owners under freehold title. As members of the Assembly will no doubt be aware, this system of title ownership is different from the leasehold system we use here in the territory," Ms Berry said as she presented the bill.
"This amendment will ensure that the Suburban Land Agency has the legal capacity to enter into contracts to purchase or sell land outside the ACT in NSW, if the government chooses to do so in the future and pending arrangements being made between the ACT government and the NSW government or local shire representatives."
The bill also amends the definition of 'land' in the act to include land located in NSW, so that it's explicit this is allowed.
Work has already started on the first ACT-NSW cross border development at Ginninderry. That development, which is expected to have about 30,000 residents, is being completed in a joint-partnership between the territory government and Riverview Developments.
Riverview Developments, a subsidiary of the Corkhill Bros group, owns the land in NSW. The ACT government bought land on the territory side from Corkhill Bros in 2016 for $4.5 million.
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