Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2312..
DR FOSKEY (continuing):
a very handy little acronym-were very active at meetings. They had a good go at the Greens because of our policies about urban consolidation, our tempered support for the government's garden city regulation, as it has become called, and I think that residents would have felt that they were supported in that by quite a few Liberal candidates. So I am not sure that we have a really clear picture here of where the Liberals do stand on the issue of urban consolidation.
Also, Mr Seselja said that ACTPLA had the expertise and we did not need community organisations to have standing on these issues.
Mr Seselja: Are you confusing me with Mr Corbell?
DR FOSKEY: No. I may have heard Mr Seselja incorrectly, but one of the questions I asked during the estimates process was about the level of expertise on things related to environmental and social impacts and the answer was that there was not a great deal, so that they are still seeking that expertise outside. I think that a lot of the community organisations recognise that those impact studies have not been done and that they want that view put somehow and somewhere.
Turning to Mr Corbell's comments, yes, it is a worrying trend. I was interested to hear that 90 per cent of your call-ins have been in response to requests from the development proponents. I figured that was probably the case. I agree that $150 for a residents' association or a developer does not seem a really fair impost if it goes across the board regardless of the income, but if it achieves a six-month delay it does make it a worthwhile investment if the strong sense of objection is there, does it not? I was interested to hear who were the opponents to the new tax building. I am sure that there was a period of great angst there.
Almost finally, as to ACTPLA being an independent decision maker, that may indeed be the case, but I would still just note that Mr Savery came to my office with a member-even though I always enjoy having Gina in for a cup of tea-of the minister's staff. We will see how the regulation works. I will listen to residents' organisations and find out how it impacts on them. I think that there is a huge level of community concern about development of our town centres. We saw with the City Hill proposals and the Griffin legacy that people do want to have a say and ideally those mechanisms should be up there at the front end.
That is one thing we will be watching with the planning reform legislation, one thing that I am a little bit concerned about. We need to be aware that often some community organisations have a particular agenda in regard to planning, but they do have a legitimate right to be heard and there does need to be a way that they can lodge their objections, that they can be heard. I still say that at the moment this disallowable instrument is reducing that. As Mr Seselja said and I have said, the approach is too broad and a bit more nuance is needed.
Question resolved in the negative.
Ordered that executive business be called on forthwith.