Page 953 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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Planning, Transport and City Services—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (12.45): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services relating to referred bills.

The Planning and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 was referred to the committee on 8 February 2022. The committee notes that this bill is not a significant bill, and the bill only makes minor legislative and technical amendments. The committee considers there is no value to be added by holding an inquiry. For this reason, the committee has resolved not to inquire into this bill.

Statement by chair

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (12.46): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services relating to referred petitions.

Petition 11-22 entitled “Protection of Bluetts Block-Piney Ridge” was received by the Assembly on 2 August 2022 and referred to the committee under standing order 99A. As signatories to the petition, 732 residents of the ACT requested the Assembly to call upon the ACT government to:

1. Ensure that Stromlo Blocks 402/403 undergo full ecological assessment;

2. Ensure that urban development is not pursued on Block 12, Section 1 Denman Prospect until there is sufficient information to decide on the environmental significance of the block;

3. Ensure that the ecological considerations of Stromlo Block 402/403 and Denman Prospect Block 12, Section 1 include the impacts on threatened species, critically endangered Box-Gum Woodland, old-growth trees, landscape connectivity, and consideration of urban edge effects; and

4. Following full ecological assessments, ensure areas which have nationally outstanding ecosystems, and species, formed mostly by non-human factors are declared a Nature Reserve.

The committee notes that, in his response to the petition, the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mr Mick Gentleman MLA, said that early environmental studies are underway for the western edge investigation area, which includes blocks 402 and 403.

The government response also states that environmental values are a central part of pre-development considerations relating to Denman Prospect block 12. The minister has undertaken to ensure that biodiversity and conservation values are appropriately considered in future deliberations about the use of land in the western edge.

The committee also notes that several of these issues are currently being discussed as part of the Planning Review, including draft district strategies and the Territory Plan, and considers that a separate inquiry would not add value.


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