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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 6 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 2086..


I note that omnibus bills such as this consist largely of technical amendments to several pieces of planning and building legislation and that they have the broad support of industry. Approved government guidelines necessitate that the essential criteria for inclusion of amendments in the bill are that such amendments are minor or technical and non-controversial or reflect only a minor policy change.

We have consulted with local industry regarding the amendments proposed in this PABLAB and to date we have not received substantive concerns regarding the amendments in this bill. As such, we will be supporting the bill. That said, there was uniform industry concern regarding the complexity of our planning and building regime. In an environment where housing affordability is an issue, legislation that increases administrative burden and costs to industry can be counterproductive. In this light, several stakeholders took the opportunity to revoice their objections to the precedence that PABLAB 2 had set.

Unsurprisingly, comments centred on the fact that for all building work that needs an approval there will be a requirement to erect a sign of the works to be done, including code track applications, the implementation of demerit penalties to builders who fail to replace a sign that has been removed within two days, the application of strict liability offences on a person who moves, alters, damages, defaces, covers or prevents access to the sign, the requirement for pre-development application community consultations on more developments by removing exclusions to the city centre and town centres, shifts in responsibility for community consultations from ACTPLA to the developer, and the introduction of commencement notices for builders to start work.

Before I go further, Mr Assistant Speaker, I should note that we have not had an opportunity to consider the government's amendments to their bill, so we have not formed a final position on whether or not to support those. I understand that the Assembly will be adjourning the debate after the in-principle stage and we will have the opportunity to consider the amendments in more detail, which I only saw for the first time this morning. We will be in a position this afternoon to determine whether or not we will support those amendments.

In relation to Ms Le Couteur's bill, for the purposes of certainty, and indeed clarity, one of the reasons we will not be supporting her bill is that I think it is more useful that when we are doing these omnibus planning bills we try and do them in a holistic way rather than have the crossbench picking at various bits and pieces. We actually think it would be more helpful, depending on the nature of the government's amendments. We know that, on the face of them, we will certainly be able to support some of the amendments, but we need more time to consider them. I think that is actually a more helpful process to PABLAB than a whole new piece of legislation from the Greens which seeks to confuse the issue.

There are concerns about some of what Ms Le Couteur is proposing. I highlight one in particular which I thought was interesting. That is the clause which seeks to make regulations that are made under the Planning and Development Act not take effect until after the disallowance period. There are no doubt many occurrences where those


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