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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2213..

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Planning and Development (Notifications and Review) Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 9 December 2009, on motion by Ms Le Couteur:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR BARR (Molonglo-Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (10.02): The Planning and Development (Notifications and Review) Amendment Bill 2009 has been introduced into the Assembly with the claim that the bill will enable rectification of defects in notification, enhance appeal rights and processes and close loopholes in the act.

In reality, Mr Speaker, the bill as presented makes radical changes with major implications for the current planning processes and the operations of the Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The government will not be supporting this bill. The leading practice aspects of the current Planning and Development Act would be undone if this bill were to take effect.

The current Planning and Development Act was developed over a number of years. Its development included wide consultation with industry and with the wider community. It took note of and was informed by COAG processes, and it was passed with the support of all parties in this place. The direction and scope of the current Planning and Development Act is consistent with continuing planning reforms across Australia.

The territory's current planning legislation puts the community and the Assembly at the forefront of setting planning policies and specific development requirements. But it does so whilst keeping politics out of planning. That is why our current planning legislation can be applied with a high degree of certainty and minimises the need for ad hoc review.

Mr Speaker, the changes to appeal and review process in the bill will significantly diminish certainty in planning decisions. They will usher in an appeals regime that is basically unconstrained by planning rules. This would lead to "ad hocery"in the application of planning rules and policies within the territory. In simple terms, the amendment bill will give us more complexity, more ambiguity and less predictability. It will certainly put politics back into planning.

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