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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (3 March) . . Page.. 616..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Planning and Land Authority to refer to the minister an application that has not been decided by the authority, and for the minister to decide those applications.

This bill also ensures that any development applications that have been called in by the minister, but which have not been decided, will revert to the Planning and Land Authority. But any safeguards that are in place with regard to records of decisions already made by the minister under the call-in powers will be maintained.

Most of the other clauses in the bill simply substitute, for obvious reasons, the term "relevant authority", which could apply to ACTPLA or the minister, with "planning and land authority". I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Social plan for Canberra

MS MacDONALD (10.56): I move:

That the Assembly:

(1) notes the overwhelmingly positive community response to the release of the Government's Social Plan, and the initiatives in that Plan that will help Canberrans reach their potential, make a contribution to, and share the benefits of their community; and

(2) endorses the strategy detailed in the Plan that provides a framework to guide government and community decision making in social policy over the next ten to fifteen years.

Mr Speaker, Building Our Community: The Canberra Social Plan was released by the Chief Minister a month ago today. Highlighting the importance we all place on these issues, almost every member of the Assembly attended the launch.

Much has been said and written about the social plan since then, and almost all of it positive. I thought it was best summed up on the day in seven simple words by a Canberra resident from my own electorate-new mother Rosaline Sexton of Kambah. "It can only be a good thing,"she said, and of course she is right.

What have others said, Mr Speaker? The Canberra Times said:

The fact that the Social Plan breaks the mould of short-term expediency that characterises so much government in Australia is cause for optimism. It deserves to succeed and influence decision-makers elsewhere.

Daniel Stubbs from ACTCOSS said:

[The] Social Plan ... has at its heart equity and fairness. ACTCOSS congratulates the Government.

Social commentator Hugh Mackay, who will chair our community inclusion board, said:

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