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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4183..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

There is a real role for the Planning and Land Council. For instance, at the moment, if I as minister am asked to exercise my call-in power, I need to consult no-one and I need to seek advice from nobody. I can just do it.

Mrs Dunne: That is the exercise of political power. Get used to it.

MR CORBELL: I have no problem with the exercise of political power. But the process would be greatly improved if there was a obligation on the minister, in considering exercising the call-in power, to seek the expert advice of the Planning and Land Council. It does not mean the minister has to agree with that advice, but it means the minister should take that advice into account. That strengthens the quality of decision-making. That is just one example of the role of the Planning and Land Council.

Another role is to give expert advice on policy on the development of draft variations to the Territory Plan. If people are concerned about not having sufficient check on the activities of the statutory authority, here is their opportunity. The Planning and Land Council adds another element of advice to the decision-making process. Its advice will be made public, so everyone will know what its views are. This will better inform the planning debate.

Mrs Dunne has not made out her argument and is intent on tearing down the whole structure because she disagrees with the detail.

I seek leave to move amendments Nos 14 and 15 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: I move amendments 14 and 15 [see schedule 6 at page 4192].

Amendment 14 amends clause 27 (1) to substitute a new note 2 clarifying that the appointment of a member of the Planning and Land Council is disallowable. Amendment 15, to clause 27 (2), adds engineering as an area of expertise relevant to the appointment of members of the Planning and Land Council.

MS TUCKER (10.01): Chapter 3 is a very important part of the bill and should not be removed. Hopefully, it will ensure the authority gets important advice from a wide range of experts and stakeholders. It is a critical part of the planning structure the Labor government has come up with. I would be very concerned if it were not there.

MS DUNDAS (10.02): A number of concerns have arisen around the operation of the Planning and Land Council. Specifically, a number of groups have argued that they should have representation. This is why I believe the minister has moved an amendment to include engineering as an area of expertise that should be represented among the membership of the council.

The relationship between the council, the minister and the authority is still uncertain. It is unclear what access members of the Assembly will have to the council. So in some ways and in some areas I share Mrs Dunne's concern about the council. However, I do not


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