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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 829..

MS McRAE (continuing):

means that the work of the Planning and Environment Committee could be very important and positive in allowing a further input into the implications of the Government's response and the better implementation of it.

I foreshadow that I will be supporting Mr Moore's motion, but very much with the intent of expediting that inquiry in a very helpful and positive manner rather than in a negative manner, because, from my reading of it, the intent of Stein has been followed. It is the detail that seems to be a bit of a bother, and I do not see why we cannot clear that fairly quickly and ensure that the community and all parties are comfortable with the new arrangements that offer a new and very positive approach to the management of our leasehold system and land in the ACT.

MR WOOD (4.20): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MR WOOD: The first thing to be said is that a great amount of highly competent and dedicated work has been done; but that has always been the case. I am pleased that the Minister has been able to draw on the high calibre of work that the planning and land management people in our bureaucracy have done and that we can ignore the nonsense on that matter that was in the Stein report. I congratulate all officers concerned in putting together a coherent document at the end of this stage. Therefore, I think the response to recommendation 24 is appropriate. It rejects the suggestion in Stein that a great number of positions in those two agencies should be thrown open.

Again it is an acknowledgment of the calibre of those officers that the Minister has produced a workable document from a flawed report, and that is a considerable achievement. I note that the Government has accepted the great bulk of the recommendations. Many of those, of course, are at a lower level, if you like, and rather more of a practical nature. The Government has not agreed with quite a number of very significant recommendations. For example, it has not agreed with the four identified objectives of the leasehold system, and in doing so it might get back to the text of the Stein report and reconsider the action it took at least in respect of one of the officers who was transferred to a different position.

The Government has not agreed to a statutory planning authority as detailed in Stein; it has not agreed to the land management authority; it has not agreed to the statutory corporation to join those bodies together; and it has not agreed to the development rights register. It will be well explained to the Planning Committee, when they get to hear the rationale for that, that they will be altogether too cumbersome, too complex and outrageously expensive.

I have always said that this report was not about leasehold. That was never in question. Leasehold in this Territory was never going to change. So, while I applaud the recommendation that the leasehold system be retained, it was never really an issue. After its tabling last year I criticised, in some ways quite strongly, aspects of this report. Today I think the Government, using other reports as well, has come up with a workable arrangement.

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