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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2330..


Mr Speaker, the government presents this bill to the Assembly today in what we believe to be very clear circumstances. Our policy on planning and land management, as reflected in this legislation, was a major factor in this government's election, and we intend to honour the commitment that our policy made to the Canberra community.

This bill does not contain any hidden messages. We will not be running developers out of town. We will not be turning planning over to a "toothless tiger". The bill simply provides for the formation of the organisations that will be responsible for performing the planning and land management functions as part of a system that is much more robust, professional and financially sound, and highly accountable.

I should observe that, contrary to the opposition to the government's announcement of its policy on land development, we do not propose to move immediately into full public land development. There will be a period of planning for the reintroduction of public sector land development activity, after which I anticipate there will be a mix of public/private partnerships, public development and substantial contracting to private interests.

In relation to the planning appeals processes, the government is currently developing the criteria for an appeal system to achieve the outcomes articulated in the pre-election planning policy document. This includes providing for a less judicial approach to planning appeals with a greater emphasis on conferencing and mediation.

Mr Speaker, this bill is important to all of us and we all need to properly understand it before it is debated. I propose to present related consequential amendments so that the whole proposal may be considered in the spring sittings. Therefore, it would be appropriate in the intervening period to allow for discussion of any matters of concern to members. I would welcome an opportunity to meet with members to discuss this bill or the government's policy on planning and land administration. Here is an opportunity for this Assembly to make a real, lasting and positive change to the planning and land system. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Land development-proposed joint committee inquiry

Debate resumed from 6 June 2002, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That:

(1) the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment jointly inquire into and report on methodologies and outcomes proposed for resumption by the government of the process of land development and the restructuring of planning arrangements including but not limited to:

(a) the sustainability of the economic models;

(b) the impact on land and house affordability; and

(c) the likely impact on the current rights of leaseholders.

(2) The Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment shall meet, deliberate and report jointly and not individually, and on matters in paragraph 1 of this resolution.


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