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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1485..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

this year's budget. There will always be people that want more from every budget, and we will continue to work on those priorities with the community sector.

Planning—EpiCentre development

MR SESELJA: My question is to the planning minister. Minister, documents released under freedom of information and reported in the Canberra Times on Saturday, 2 June 2007 state:

We conclude that the National Capital Authority's assessment of the EpiCentre development is reasonable and sufficient to support the draft finding that the project is inconsistent with the requirements of the National Capital Plan.

Minister, what efforts were made by your agencies prior to approval of the EpiCentre development to assure themselves that the development and ACTPLA's interpretation of the territory plan were in accordance with the NCP? Was the NCA consulted on this point? If so, when and what was their response?

MR BARR: As members would be aware, a lot of the detail that Mr Seselja is seeking occurred prior to my time in the portfolio, so there will be some aspects of detail that I will have to get back to him on. But I can advise that the report that was provided to the National Capital Authority was undertaken by a group called SGS Economics and Planning and that that report was provided to the planning and land authority on 22 December 2006. The NCA advice to ACTPLA by letter was: "I enclose for your information and any action you consider appropriate a copy of a report prepared for the National Capital Authority."It is important to note that the National Capital Authority has not said that the DA was illegal. As I understand it, this particular peer review report has not been considered at an NCA board level.

I am sure members would be aware that, with conditions, ACTPLA had determined the DFO development application for section 48 Fyshwick ACTPLA on 21 September 2006—a number of months before the NCA made available its peer review report. The information provided by the NCA at the time of ACTPLA making the decision did not advise that the approval would be inconsistent with the national capital plan but rather referred to what mattered in its opinion and what ACTPLA should have regard to.

The NCA provided the peer review report having regard to ACTPLA's role as the decision maker. But it is important to note that the NCA has not vetoed ACTPLA's decision to approve the DFP development. As the NCA acknowledges, ACTPLA is the decision maker and must ultimately be responsible for interpreting the national capital plan. Members would also be aware that matters raised in this draft NCA report are included as part of the Supreme Court actions that have been taken by the Capital Airport Group and that the hearing dates for these matters are between 30 July and 3 August.

I do not propose to make any further comments in relation to this as it is before the Supreme Court, but in terms of the key point around the timeline the NCA did not provide their peer review report to ACTPLA until three months after the decision by ACTPLA was taken.

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