Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3172..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
requiring with most development applications.
The survey certificate should only reveal the actual and present situation, not what may be in future. Matters such as the height of existing and proposed buildings are addressed in development plans. The surveyor is required to verify all development plans and any amendment thereof. Additional costs and delays will be experienced by the home owner and/or proponent.
Accordingly, the government believes that the proposed new paragraph 226 (1AA) (c) requires amendment to make it clear that the "physical features" of the land are its dimensions and contours. Paragraph (a) already deals with the boundaries of the land. Therefore, paragraph (c) would be best stated as a requirement that a survey certificate show the correct contours of the land. That will enable any person to work out how the proposed changes will relate to the surrounding area.
The other important issue raised by the bill is the range of development that would be subject to the new requirement. The mischief that the bill seeks to address is experienced primarily in residential areas. Certainly, that is where the effects of the problem are most strongly felt, and where those negative effects are least desirable.
As I mentioned, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is important that the requirement be imposed where it is considered necessary to preserve the amenity of neighbours, and to advise those who may be disadvantaged by the absence of relevant information.
MR CORBELL (3.37): I am grateful for the Chief Minister's advice in relation to the amendment to clause 4 in particular, and the change to the wording "the existing contours of the land" rather than paragraph (c) in Mr Rugendyke's bill. I did have some concerns about that change, but the Chief Minister has clarified those for me.
I stress again that the Labor Party will be supporting these amendments today but we are conscious of the exemption requirements proposed in the Chief Minister's amendments. I take on board that these exemptions will be made by way of a disallowable instrument so that there will be the opportunity to closely look at those when that instrument is tabled in the Assembly.
The issue that the Labor Party is very conscious of is striking the appropriate balance between the level or the extent of a development application which warrants notification and the application of these requirements as proposed by Mr Rugendyke, and the type of development activity which would not or should not attract this requirement of a survey certificate. For example, relatively minor amendments to a home, such as the bricking up of one doorway and the opening of another window, whilst they would usually need a building approval, and in some instances a slightly more extensive development application, would not dramatically change the substance of the built form on a block. It is probably unwise to apply the need for a survey certificate in those cases. Clearly, there