Page 3238 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022
We were quite pleased with the last few information sessions on the planning review consultation. We heard quite a lot of negative feedback earlier in the piece, and the directorate adjusted the way they were consulting. Later sessions were recorded. They were subject-specific, so people could see what topic was going to be discussed. They could prepare themselves. They could go to the right session. There was plenty of time for questions and answers. They were not just a top-down information briefing. They were not just reading out a pre-prepared presentation. There was actually genuine interaction. There was a follow-up session posted at the end that was purely for outstanding questions and answers.
All of that showed a much better type and quality of consultation, at the end of the Planning Bill review. We are hoping that we see something similar with the district strategies and the Territory Plan. There needs to be genuine, quality consultation. It needs to be two-way. The government needs to listen to what people have to say and answer questions, and not have the top-down model of consultation that we sometimes see.
We are pleased to see additional resources for the planning and land authority in the budget, given the upcoming changes to the way development proposals will be assessed. They need resources to do that. Those resources in the budget are set aside to make improvements to the planning website as well, and to make development applications publicly available for longer. That is all great progress.
I also want to give a shout-out to the work of previous Greens MLAs who have been working in this field for a long time. Caroline Le Couteur did a lot of work leading up to this planning review. She worked quite hard on the planning and urban renewal committee in the Ninth Assembly. She did quite a lot of work on the inquiry into DA processes in the ACT. I am pleased to see that some of those recommendations have now led to some increased funding. We are quite pleased to see that the government will continue to follow through on the recommendations from that previous work.
I would also like to reiterate a few things that are important to the ACT Greens in the major Planning Review and Reform Project. We made a few points last year, and I will reiterate them.
With our new planning system, we need to see climate change and emissions reduction targets factored in to planning decisions. We need to see that the many strands to climate resilience and reducing our climate emissions are all factored in. We need to make sure that the built environment is factored in. We know that it is a major source of scope 3 emissions. We have a really good report from the commissioner which sets that out. We also know that we have scope 1 and scope 2 emissions from higher transport and the higher needs that come with urban sprawl. So we have quite a lot of push factors coming from climate change. We also know that we have an increasingly extreme climate that we need to adapt to. Our planning system is in a really good position to adjust to all of that.
We need a planning system that develops development that works for people. It needs to be driven by the needs and strategic priorities of Canberrans. It needs to be done for the future of Canberra and for the current needs of Canberra, not led by the priorities of developers.