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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . .

Page.. 859..


MR WALL: Minister, will you guarantee that businesses currently operating from a residential address and currently exempt from acquiring a development approval will not be unnecessarily pressured or pursued by government officials to do so?

MR GENTLEMAN: Certainly, in regard to the planning side of their businesses, I see no reason for government officials to pursue current businesses operating correctly. However, sometimes the community have a different view. They may have a view that businesses are not operating appropriately; therefore government officials will visit the businesses and go through those processes.

Access Canberra—unkempt properties

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Late last year a constituent contacted me in relation to the neglected state of a private property in their suburb of Bonython. In particular, they were concerned that the property was a health and fire hazard, with long grass and broken windows clearly visible from the street and claims of squatters in the premises. I wrote to you on the constituent's behalf, and in your reply you said:

... officers from Access Canberra have attended and inspected the property ... and determined the property does not satisfy the criteria for an unclean leasehold.

The constituent then informed me in February this year that they phoned ACT Fire & Rescue about this property and were told that ACT Fire & Rescue have been trying to get the property tidied up for years. Chief Minister, what action, if any, does Access Canberra take in response to concerns raised by ACT Fire & Rescue about private properties that they consider may pose a fire hazard?

MR BARR: Access Canberra would respond positively to any community or ACT government agency's requests to examine the safety of particular sites. As I have indicated in my response to Ms Lawder, on advice from Access Canberra, they have acted and will continue to monitor the state of that property.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, what are the criteria used to determine if there are fire and health hazards in an untreated property and where can constituents look them up?

MR BARR: All that information will be contained in detailed form within regulation. In terms of a specific web address that might provide a more succinct parcel of information, for those who are interested I will get that web address for them.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, when Access Canberra get these complaints, do they check if rates are paid up to date? If not, what action do they take?

Mr Barr: Do they check with—?


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