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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 1 Hansard (26 February) . . Page.. 138..


Over the past decade we have heard many complaints from all sorts of constituents—I am sure members of the Liberal Party have received these emails and letters as well—about shoddy building construction. It is precisely these government regulations that we need to ensure are in place to prevent this. They talk about people who have moved into new buildings where the developing company has perhaps disappeared, there is no remedy available, and people are facing very significant financial bills to repair the shoddy work that was done in the construction process. These are the sorts of things that we need to guard against, and that is the role for government.

One process the government is currently undertaking is to review the design standards which all developers need to adhere to—to ensure that they are best practice in delivering sustainability long into the future and also that they align with the territory plan.

This piece of work is being done with red tape reduction in mind. We are aiming for a high level of infrastructure development while at the same time creating a clear and certain environment so that developers know clearly what the rules are. TAMS are working closely with industry stakeholders to ensure that this review takes their views into account. I have had the feedback from people in the industry, and they have raised legitimate concerns in places. That is why, certainly in this case, my agency is working with them to identify where we can remove some of those restrictions or ease the way for people to get things done more readily whilst at the same time ensuring we get the outcomes that all Canberrans need and want.

Having made those observations, I think it is quite clear there are a number of elements of this motion that I disagree with. I will not be supporting it today.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (10.40), in reply: Madam Speaker, in closing, let me start by saying that we have heard an interesting admission from both Minister Barr and Minister Rattenbury. That admission is that for almost each of these points there are serious problems. The government has said that there are problems with territory plan variation 306 and that there are problems with the lease variation charge. There are problems with the commence and complete fees, there are problems with ACTPLA and there are problems with access to the territory plan. Each of these is a baby of this government, Madam Speaker. Each of these is a problem that this government created.

It is all very well for Mr Rattenbury to come and say: "There are some issues here. We are going to take a considered review. We are going to take our time. We are going to get it right." The fact is that all these problems were foreshadowed before each of these problems was created.

With regard to variation 306, all the problems which we have seen today, all the problems which have been touted as needing to be fixed through technical amendments, were foreshadowed in this place by the Canberra Liberals, the Institute of Architects, the Institute of Landscape Architects, the Property Institute, the Property Council, the Planning Institute, the HIA, the MBA and others. All these problems with variation 306 were very clearly articulated before variation 306 came into effect. The government said that they had consultation, but it was not consultation. As put by one witness to the committee inquiry, it was a talkfest. The decisions were made beforehand.


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