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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3286..

Planning and Land (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2002

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Affairs, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.23): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Members will recall that when I presented the Planning and Land Bill 2002 on 27 June this year, I foreshadowed that I would bring forward further legislation required to give effect to the governance structures provided for by that bill. The consequential amendments bill effects a range of changes to transfer responsibility for the performance of planning and land management functions to the Planning and Land Authority and the Planning and Land Council and also to reinforce the independence of the authority and improve the clarity of our planning system.

In the lead-up to the presentation of this bill, members will already have observed a number of attempts to unduly frighten the public and, to an extent, ourselves into believing that this legislative package contains some hidden or malevolent agenda. The devil is in the detail, has been the claim. In fact, in this case, all that is in the detail is the detail.

Members will now have had an opportunity to read the Planning and Land Bill in full. It is clear that legislation providing for the constitution of three new organisations must be supported by a large package of amendments to other acts and regulations that make the functions of those organisations operate properly. That is what the bill does. It does not make policy changes in addition to those already presented in the Planning and Land Bill and foreshadowed in my presentation speech on 27 June this year. However, it does illustrate for members the way in which the policy changes will operate.

There are several distinct areas of change. Firstly, the principal amendments aim to maintain the power of the executive and the minister in terms of setting policy directions. The Planning and Land Authority is to assume responsibility for the management of many of the functions governed by the land act. Broadly speaking, the authority will have the following general functions: administration of the Territory Plan; granting and administration of crown leases on behalf of the Australian Capital Territory executive; building regulation; management of certain unleased territory land, including the granting of licences in some circumstances; and processing and determination of development applications.

Secondly, the bill makes a number of changes to the land act and to other acts and regulations to transfer responsibility for the management of the above functions to the Planning and Land Authority. Thirdly, the minister will continue to have call-in powers under the land act. The bill further clarifies the call-in process by providing for the publication of advice received from the Planning and Land Authority and the Planning and Land Council.

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