Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . .
environmental impact statement. This will ensure that there is adequate community engagement when the ACT is considering whether or not to require an environmental impact statement.
In summary, the bill will allow for streamlining the environmental assessment and approval process under the Planning and Development Act, whilst providing strong environmental safeguards. The bill allows for: offset conditions to be imposed on development approval and flexibility in the approach to offsets; an offsets policy, which is a first for the ACT and will provide a clear regulatory framework for decisions on offsets; environmental significance opinions to be strengthened; conservator concurrence and advice from the commonwealth environment minister on proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on commonwealth matters; and greater transparency and more public consultation on environmental assessments under the Planning and Development Act.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that passing this bill will enable the ACT to enter a one-stop shop for environmental approvals for developments in the ACT. The bill will ensure that a one-stop shop can operate effectively and provide certainty to stakeholders.
The bill provides for clear and transparent decision-making processes and meets our commitments under the parliamentary agreement. It will ensure ongoing protection for commonwealth matters of national environmental significance. I believe this bill improves the existing assessment and approval processes under the Planning and Development Act, which carefully balances the ongoing need to minimise the environmental impact of developments.
I will provide a little bit of commentary on Ms Lawder's input earlier in the day. I thank her for her comments. The government did agree to adjourn the in-principle debate, should the opposition wish to move those amendments, and deal with it on Thursday, but those have not come forward at this time. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Sitting suspended from 11.15 am to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Planning—city to the lake project
MR HANSON: My question is to the Treasurer. He has been wanting one for a while; I would not want to disappoint! Treasurer, on budget day you issued a media release entitled "Transformative Infrastructure" which stated:
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