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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 310..

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2009 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 10 December 2009, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (12.18): The Liberal Party will be supporting this bill. I note that it is an omnibus bill which consists largely of technical amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2007 and that it has the broad support of industry. I also note that the government released the bill as an exposure draft in late 2009.

According to the accompanying explanatory statement, the bill makes a number of disparate minor amendments for added clarity, information or consistency, including: permitting quick technical variations to be made to the territory plan to improve clarity of language or remove redundant provisions; making it clear that a development application for new building does not require a revisiting of the existing use of land if that use was already authorised by an existing lease; making the default track for lease variations the merit track—unless the development table says otherwise—and confirming that the assessment track for adding a use to a lease is the track that applies to the new use; and making it clear that a call-in of a development application does not stop public notification and agency referral steps, unless expressly required by the minister.

The bill also prohibits amendments to an already granted development application if the amendment would interfere with a court-imposed development application condition. It permits ACTPLA to obtain a full dataset and updates of lessee contact addresses from ACT Revenue which will enable ACTPLA to notify development applications and take compliance action more effectively and quickly. I note that the explanatory statement indicates that the information will be protected by existing statutory provisions in the Planning and Development Act 2007. The bill extends the provision to make temporary modifications to the Planning and Development Act by regulation until 31 March 2013. We have contacted the HIA, the MBA and the Property Council and we have heard of no substantial opposition to the bill.

Canberra has a unique planning regime that has shaped our wonderful city into what it is today. As I have said before, Canberra as a whole is a leading example of a planned city which has delivered a wonderful quality of life for Canberrans. But we know there is still much more to be done. There is a need to unclog the system. Businesses, large and small, sometimes struggle to cope with a system that sometimes seems impenetrable. Therefore, it is important that we continue to implement the highest standard of planning policies and laws and principles to ensure Canberra grows successfully into the future. In conclusion, we will be supporting the bill.

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