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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4138..

  • (continuing):

  • elevating the status and role of strategic planning and policy instruments in guiding decision making and engaging the community early in the planning process; and
    • providing appropriate safeguards for members of the community most directly affected by policy change and development applications.

    Through the Canberra plan, both the Canberra spatial plan and the economic white paper have contained specific references to changes to the planning and land administration system. The most recent election platform of this government in 2004 was unambiguous in its planning policy, stating that it will continue with reform as part of a second wave of measures, including the reform of the Land Act and the territory plan.

    This detailed background leaves no doubt that, along with the government, the planning authority, its chief planning executive and I have been committed to reforming the ACT planning and land administration. It has been one of my highest priorities in terms of my ministerial responsibilities. Today, Mr Speaker, we deliver on those commitments.

    Planning systems have evolved over the last 10 to 15 years, from essentially managing the separation of incompatible land uses to dealing with a complex range of competing societal issues—so much so that most jurisdictions across Australia suffer from not being able, in some circumstances, to reconcile all the issues that need to be taken into consideration, including, but not being limited to:

    • land use practice, landscape, urban character and urban design;

    • environmental considerations, including natural hazard mitigation, significant trees, sustainability issues, water management, energy efficiency and noise;

    • European and Aboriginal heritage;

    • transport; and, increasingly; and

    • housing affordability.

    Any modern planning system therefore not only needs to be designed to canvass this broad range of issues, but also needs an administrative structure to be able to work through such a wide variety of potential concerns.

    Planning outcomes are no longer confined to just one government agency, given that the spread of issues involves the interests of other agencies who have the necessary expertise to contribute to the decision-making process. In this regard the planning system needs to be designed in a way that enables the collation and integration of views across government.

    In addition, planning systems in most parts of Australia either incorporate or have a substantial connection with building and other construction practices, so the integration of respective systems and minimising duplication between them has added

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