Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 707..
Mr Stefaniak: Thanks very much, Mr Speaker. You just don't want to hear the truth, do you?
MS GALLAGHER: My question to the Minister for Planning, which follows on somewhat from Mr Stefaniak's question, relates to the implementation of government policy to introduce neighbourhood planning in Canberra. Could the minister inform the Assembly what action the government has taken to put in place the election commitment to give local residents a direct say in the planning rules of their suburbs?
MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Gallagher for her question. As I indicated in my previous answer to Mr Stefaniak, this government is committed to implementing its election commitments on planning. It will do so to restore community confidence in the planning process; to invest in planning; to develop a strategic approach to planning for our city that provides certainty for residents, certainty for investors, and a clear framework that everyone can work within and understand what the rules are.
One of the key components of this election commitment was the establishment of the neighbourhood planning program. I am very pleased to say that this government acted quickly and in a timely manner to ensure that the program is being implemented. Members may recall that on 13 December I announced the establishment of the neighbourhood planning program. An initial program for neighbour planning will cover five suburbs-the suburbs of O'Connor, Lyneham, Turner, Braddon and Deakin-in the first round of neighbourhood planning for the remainder of this financial year.
To commence this process, this government has undertaken a collaborative approach. Unlike the previous government that simply went out and said, "This is what we are going to do. We would like you to tell us what you think and then we are going to do it anyway," which is the standard consultative process they undertook with planning, this government has a collaborative approach. So on Wednesday, 27 February, which is about two weeks ago, nearly 200 people attended a meeting at the Albert Hall to talk about what people wanted to see in their neighbourhood plans, what their concerns were with the neighbourhood planning process and what their aspirations were for the implementation of the neighbourhood planning process. So it is really about getting their ideas and suggestions on how neighbourhood planning would work.
That workshop was well attended by representatives of residents organisations, individual citizens, industry organisations and broader community-based organisations. Indeed, I am grateful that Mrs Dunne and Ms Dundas were also able to attend and participate for at least part of that evening. That workshop was very successful. The commentary that has come back to my office and to officers in PALM, to the neighbourhood planning team, has been overwhelmingly positive.
What we got out of that workshop was over 2,000 ideas on neighbourhood planning and what people's views and concerns were on neighbourhood planning. These ideas are currently being prioritised and worked into the process for the development of the neighbourhood planning program.