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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4830..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

I think when Dr Foskey asks this question, she has to be familiar with what are the formal requirements under the law for the assessment of, say, a development application and what are the policy requirements of the government around consultation on broader policy issues. That is what the planning authority does. I believe they engage very effectively and very broadly on a range of issues. There will always be someone who disagrees with that. Usually that disagreement comes about because they do not like the development proposal, so the immediate response is to say, "I was not consulted."That is not an argument. The argument should be about the quality of the proposal itself, the merits of the proposal itself and whether or not it stacks up. That is what the argument should be about.

I know that some people say that but, quite frankly, ACTPLA has a very comprehensive consultation process in relation to policy, such as that for the Molonglo Valley. Ultimately they are responsible for ensuring that, when a formal proposal comes forward, say, in the context of a development application, they use the land act and the requirements of the land act clearly and completely in advising those parties who should be formally notified of particular proposals.

DR FOSKEY: I ask a supplementary question. Can the Minister assure the Assembly that that policy requirement for community engagement will still apply after the introduction of the new reformed planning system and that major and contentious developments will be brought to the attention of local communities?

MR CORBELL: Yes, I can. Large-scale, complex development proposals will still need to be considered through a formal process of development assessment. As the government has outlined in its consultation process on planning system reform, we are proposing that development assessment will essentially fall into five tracks: merit; code; prohibited; impact and exempt. Those five tracks will specify the circumstances in which a development proposal should be considered and whether or not public notification and third party appeal are available, depending on the nature of the development.

So, yes, depending on the development, there will still be clear opportunities for the public to comment and to potentially object. In particular, that will be the case in relation to impact and merit of assessable projects, less so in relation to code and obviously not applicable in relation to prohibited or exempt track assessment.

Education-university admission index

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Chief Minister. I note that today's Canberra Times provides details of the top performing ACT year 12 students in the university admission index. Could you update the Assembly on these results?

MR STANHOPE: I certainly thank Ms Porter for her question and the consuming, deep interest she shows in education in the ACT as the chair of the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People.

I take the opportunity today to acknowledge the absolutely fantastic results that were achieved by ACT students this year. The ACT certainly leads Australia in educational


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