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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 1929..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

However, it could not have been a success without our bright, young representatives of tomorrow being prepared to spend their day coming along and getting involved. I sincerely thank each and every one of the participants for their valuable contributions. I hope that the participants saw the youth forum as the beginning of an ongoing engagement with the government and the community and a way to insist on building a better city and country for everyone. I also express my appreciation to John Gunn from Multicultural Youth Services (ACT) for the facilitation, and to the officers from the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Nic Manikis, Kate Skandreth, Maria Vincent and others, for their assistance.

It was a real pleasure to engage with young people, for them to have a chat with government. We have done this before, but what was unique was we brought the leaders together and left the room. The leaders determined the agenda. We came back, discussed the construct of that agenda and where we were going, gave them a bit of extra information and went away. Those leaders led the rest of the hundred or so people in the room and came to conclusions and advised the government. We got warts-and-all advice from the young people of the community. It was incredibly valuable. Again, I express my appreciation and that of the government to all participants.

Planning and Development Bill 2006

Detail stage

Clause 15.

Debate resumed from 21 August 2007.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (12.05): I will be opposing this clause, because there is a quite complex, high-level interaction between statements of planning intent, statements of strategic direction, planning strategies and so on. They have different significance to legal action, the authority's direction and government thinking. In this case, it just does not make sense that the minister may give the authority to a statement of planning intent. The minister should be required to do so. We understand that this provision might simply reflect existing provisions in the legislation, but, given that this whole bill reflects several years of work, there was every opportunity to follow through on the detail.

There are many instances in this bill where it would be best to ensure easier public access to information. I will use this opportunity to suggest that it makes sense to mandate the publication of statements of planning intent on the minister's and the authority's websites. I understand that planning ministers are likely to do so anyway, but, given the importance of those statements to the authority's functions, it should be required that such statements are visible on both sites. There are other examples in this legislation where we need that kind of transparency. I would be happy to hear the minister confirm that this is his intent in the short term and that if we need to revisit this bill, perhaps when the plan gets introduced, we can agree on some simple amendments such as those that I have just suggested.

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