Page 403 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

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In developing the new planning system we have examined reforms in other jurisdictions, both in Australia and overseas, and we have adopted elements where they suit the ACT. I was pleased to release last week the new planning bill for consultation, for three months. I look forward to what the Canberra community proposes for that bill.

Opposition members interjecting—


MR GENTLEMAN: Our chief planner, Ben Ponton, has said that people are at the heart of our new planning system. This means that we are planning our buildings, our public spaces and our suburbs in a way that will look at how people use those spaces into the future.

MADAM SPEAKER: I remind members of the standing orders, which say that those on their feet should be heard in silence.

MS ORR: Minister, what changes are being made through the development of a new planning act?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for the question. Some of the features that I am most excited about are the recognition of the customs, traditions and knowledge of the traditional owners of the land, the Ngunnawal people; the new principles of good planning; increasing the time for public consultation on significant development; removing the EIS exemption process; and introducing additional transparency by making applications and decisions available on the planning website.

Mr Parton interjecting—

MR GENTLEMAN: One proposed change where I am particularly keen to hear from the community, including Mr Parton, when he has the chance, is the principle of good communication. Moving to an outcomes-focused development assessment system will change our decision-making criteria and allow our assessors to take a step back, look at the development proposal as a whole in the locations proposed for and make a decision on whether this is a good outcome overall. Assessors will also be able to look at cumulative impacts, which is something that the community has been encouraging us to do for some time. I am excited about those changes. I am aware that others in the community have different views, but I again encourage everyone to have their say.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how will the new act help to grow a sustainable city that grows jobs?

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, as jovial as it might be, it is out of order.

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