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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3167..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

clear the way for an aesthetic of sustainability, and what work is being done to remove similar pointless aesthetic restrictions on the placement of water tanks?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I do not accept that aesthetic considerations are unimportant. I think that if you were to ask any resident you would find that they think you have to seek to strike a balance between visual aesthetic considerations and environmental aesthetic concerns, as Ms Tucker mentions in her question.

In relation to the current situation, I will just recap for the information of members: at the moment, you can install a solar hot water heater or a photovoltaic system on a roof without a development application as long as it does not face onto the street. If you seek to install one of those facilities on the side of the roof that faces the street then, yes, there are aesthetic considerations: you are required to lodge a development application but it is still a relatively straightforward process. That is simply because there may be problems with glare or there may be aesthetic issues that need to be taken into account.

Such considerations are valid for a neighbourhood and can be sensibly addressed. Often, it simply means ensuring that the colour of the unit that is going to be installed on the street-facing side of a roof is consistent with the colour of the building overall and that sort of thing, so that you can accommodate both aesthetics and environmental considerations.

I will have to take that part of the question related to the review on notice and get back to Ms Tucker about when the planning authority proposes to complete that review of the guidelines. We do want to encourage the installation of these appliances. In particular, there is a level of concern at the moment about rainwater tanks and the controls on those. I have had a number of representations from residents who want to install rainwater tanks in the front yards of their properties, which has raised a number of concerns. For that reason, we are reviewing that policy at the moment to make it as streamlined as possible.

However, I think it is fair to make the point that the visual aesthetic is an important consideration in any planning matter, as is the environmental aesthetic.

MS TUCKER: Minister, I was interested to know whether you are in touch with other planning jurisdictions who are working towards more sustainable design, such as Leichhardt City Council in Sydney, in order to develop simple, sustainable development guidelines as expeditiously as possible; and, if so, when we might see the outcomes of this work.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I would imagine that the planning authority seeks wherever possible to learn from the practices and the experience of other jurisdictions and other local councils. I will certainly point out that Leichhardt example to the planning authority if it is not already aware of it.

Business confidence

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism. The results of the Sensis Business Index survey, formerly


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