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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 2005..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

on feasibility studies, sketch plans and the indicative costs of a proposal so that these ongoing issues can be dealt with in the embryonic stages.

When we were examining the call-in powers of the Minister for Planning we were focusing on the use of regulation 12 of the land act, which refers to confidential services and special dwellings and enables developments to be called in, in the sense that the consultation process is truncated, when the minister determines that it is in the public interest for the development to be so considered.

A number of concerns were raised about the application of regulation 12 in this instance. I refer members to chapter 3 of the report. There was some concern about the interpretation of "residential"in regulation 12 because, if "residential"applies to the land policies that fall under the B1 residential land use policies in the territory plan, applying regulation 12 to the Karralika facility may not have been appropriate because the Karralika facility falls under a B4 community facility land use policy. The committee pointed out its concern that regulation 12 may then only be used for any purpose other than residential purposes consistent with the territory plan.

We concluded that the regulation is flawed in its wording or that there needs to be a territory plan variation for the site so that the area has a specific overlap. We went on to recommend that the Land (Planning and Environment) Act be reviewed and rewritten so that these concerns can be clarified for the interpretation and application of the regulations.

I will let other members speak to specific issues in the report, as I am sure they will want to do. I hope that members will find this report helpful in putting forward suggestions for consultation processes into the future so that we do not have again a situation such as the one that arose in Fadden and Macarthur. I stress that this is a city in which consultation on development is something that the community likes to have and it has been positive in the past but, because of the way that this process worked out, there is a lot of mistrust and a lot of concern in the community.

The committee believe that the history of this project clearly demonstrates a strong need for an improved system of preparing and prioritising capital works projects for approval to proceed in the ACT. We would like the next Assembly to consider providing a role for a public works committee in terms of scrutinising such government developments.

I would like to thank the other members of the committee and the secretary for the work that was done. This was a very complex matter and we did have to keep reminding ourselves of the need to focus on the planning issues and not get caught up in all the peripheral events that were going on. I believe that the committee handled the issues raised confidently. We have produced a report that should provide some advice to the government and to this Assembly in terms of improving consultation mechanisms in the territory. I commend this report to the Assembly.

MR HARGREAVES (6.07): Members of the Assembly should note that the whole process has started afresh and there is now a completely different ball game. This report is, in fact, an exercise in history and bright people actually learn lessons from history. There are constructive suggestions contained within this report. I think that it encapsulates the position of the community reasonably well. I would commend the report

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