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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 4148..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

are generally consistent with the ACT government community engagement manual and in some cases exceed the requirements as set out in that document. ACTPLA is also required to comply with the statutory obligations for consultation in relation to matters such as assessment of development applications and draft territory plan variations.

Much of the work that is carried out by ACTPLA is broken up into a series of consultation exercises over an extended period of time which reflect the need to tailor consultation to the particular exercise being undertaken. Recent examples of this are the Molonglo Valley, as well as the planning system reform project itself.

In relation to the planning system reform, initial public consultation was undertaken over the period 27 May to 22 July 2005. As well as the release of a directions paper, four technical papers and accompanying fact sheets, more than 100 information kits were distributed to businesses, community groups and environmental organisations.

Twenty-seven information briefings were provided to a range of community, environment and industry representative bodies, as well as to a range of government agencies and committees. Over 260 people participated in those briefings, over 300 comments were recorded for consideration within this phase of the community consultation program and were considered by ACTPLA, and over 60 formal submissions were received.

The seven-week period for consultation on the exposure draft of the bill was considered to be appropriate in the light of the earlier consultation that was undertaken. There was also a parallel inquiry into the bill by the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment, which provided further opportunities for submissions on the draft legislation.

The exposure draft Planning and Development Bill 2006 and its associated documents were available for public consultation from 13 July to 31 August 2006. While this process was relatively tight, the consultation focused on identifying any unintended consequences or impacts of the new system. It also introduced the community to an outline of the restructured territory plan and an example code and development table.

It is important to recognise that consultation outside the formal consultation process has been ongoing during the planning system reform project. That has involved a range of key stakeholders in a variety of forums and meetings. All feedback received has been and will continue to be considered as part of the process of drafting and refining the bill. It has also informed development of the territory plan detail which, as I have already indicated, will shortly be available for public exposure.

The committee has also recommended that the government prioritise the advancement of the proposed sustainability legislation as a funded initiative in the 2007-2008 budget. As this is a matter for consideration within the budget context and budget priorities are for cabinet decision, it is not possible to agree to this recommendation at this time. I would like to thank the committee for its report on this very important aspect of ACT planning.

Motion agreed to.

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