Page 402 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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MS CLAY: How will you facilitate public consultation that allows members of the public to hear one another’s views and ensure that these views are published?

MR GENTLEMAN: People can ask questions at the sessions that I have talked about, or through the Your Say website opportunity. The government will be meeting with other key stakeholders, too, and people can feed their submissions up through those channels, if they want to—for example, community councils, ACTCOSS, Pedal Power, Greater Canberra, the Conservation Council, the Environmental Defenders Office, the Master Builders Association, the Housing Industry Association, the Property Council and several others. We have been seeking input from these groups as well, as we have gone forward to this point.

MR CAIN: Minister, given the poor track record of consultation on the planning review, as evidenced last year, and verified by community council chairs and community feedback, what reason can you give the community now that this consultation opportunity will be both genuine and transparent?

MR GENTLEMAN: I reject Mr Cain’s comments outright. The consultation period has been very detailed, and continues to be so. We have a strong, open process of consultation in the planning system; and, indeed, with the planning bill that is out for consultation at the moment—three months, as I said, before we come back to the chamber. Of course, there will be further debate in this place as well. I think there is plenty of opportunity for people to have their say. Reflecting on the comments from the general public from our launch last week, it was well received. The comments were very positive towards the consultation that the directorate and I have been doing.

Planning—planning and development system

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister, how is the ACT government improving the planning system?

MR GENTLEMAN: We have been working very hard to ensure that we can provide a better system, an outcomes-focused system, for the ACT.

Mr Hanson: Why is it such a mess after 21 years of government?

MR GENTLEMAN: We have been reviewing our planning system to improve and modernise the way that we plan for our city’s future.

Mr Hanson: Haven’t you been in government for 20 years?


MR GENTLEMAN: I know that Mr Hanson is not interested in our city’s future, but many of us are. The vision for the modern planning system is that it is accessible, easy to use and delivers improved development outcomes. Over time, the current Planning and Development Act has become complex and hard to use. We have faced new challenges and have made piecemeal changes to amend the legislation.

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