Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3679..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
process, and the potential impact on the rights and obligations of existing rural leaseholders.
We go on to note particular issues raised by submitters to ACTPLA. We make four recommendations, and not just simple ones such as, "We support variation 225 to the territory plan going forward"; we also recommend that the rights and obligations of the government and current rural leaseholders be clarified and advised to all current rural leaseholders. It came through in the submissions to ACTPLA that the debates that have been happening with regard to this block of land have caused a lot of concern for other rural lessees throughout the ACT. This is something that needs to be clarified immediately so that the future tenure of those blocks of land can be clarified.
We recommend that the government be aware of the rights and obligations of the current leaseholders and that these be considered fully when looking at what will happen to the land after variation 225 comes into effect. The committee was also quite concerned to hear that the Actew substation is being considered for this particular block of land.
There are many factors relating to the major electrical substation being built on this site. It is envisaged that the substation will not be required before 2005 but alternate sites are being investigated. The final location of the substation is yet to be determined. There would need to be a detailed planning approval and separate preliminary assessment for the impacts this facility would have. There was concern that this site was being considered prematurely for an Actew substation without necessarily looking at sole use of the site as urban open space for restricted recreation, broadacre and any of those other planning considerations.
The committee therefore makes another recommendation that the final identification of a site for the Actew substation take place prior to variation 225 taking effect and therefore prior to the disposal process for the land that is subject to this variation. The government can then proceed in good faith with the land disposal process without unnecessarily disadvantaging current leaseholders.
I commend this report to the Assembly and ask that the government take heed of the recommendations. Hopefully, we can work through this process in a speedy manner because it has been on the agenda of the Assembly for quite a while now. If we can work through these issues and see this variation move forward, I think that would be supported by both the community and the Assembly.
MRS DUNNE (11.08): I wish to make some comments on the 33rd report of the planning and environment committee. This report has been a long time in the making. It had its genesis in a motion that was passed in this place in April 2002. I feel I have to put on the record, as I have on a couple of other occasions, the dissatisfaction of the opposition at the delay that has taken between the decision of this Assembly to institute a variation of the territory plan and its arrival. I commend the acting minister for acting fairly expeditiously to get it in to the planning and environment committee so that it could be resolved in the life of this Assembly because up until now the owners of the lease and the proponents of an enterprise on that site have been subject to unconscionable delay at the hands of the planning minister over this.