Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 312 ..
This occurred last year in relation to a DA in Latham, where the DA was put out for public notification but only contained a lease variation proposal. The actual demolition and development proposal was omitted completely from the public notification. Despite this, ACTPLA permitted—ACTPLA made—a decision on the whole proposal. This should surely be a breach of the DA process and notification should be started again.
I have also had numerous complaints about ACTPLA’s website not containing all the information when the consultation period starts—it only appears after complaints. Again, this is totally unfair for those people who looked at the information when the DA first went up on the website. ACTPLA should work harder to ensure that all information is available at the onset of the consultation period.
Thus today, given that the changes we are considering merely make those sections of the act consistent, I am okay to allow their addition to the act. However, I flag today that my Planning and Development (Notifications and Review) Amendment Bill addresses exactly this problem. Thus I will be updating my bill in coming weeks to ensure that this new clause is also amended.
I now turn to clauses 18 and 20. I applaud these clauses in general, which mean that the Registrar-General is able to lodge ACTPLA information for recording with land title information. This includes such information as development approvals, a description of the development and its assessment track, the approval status of the DA and the lease information. It makes sense that if someone is doing a title search they are also able to find out the status of any developments on the land.
We are pleased to see the amendment at clause 19 as the Greens have had concerns about the call-in process for quite some time. Over the past year we have watched the minister’s call-ins over the Cotter Dam and the hospital car park and we have noted that ACTPLA was not permitted to continue to provide advice and expertise to the minister on the issue once the issue had been called in. This amendment allows ACTPLA, unless specified otherwise, to continue with the public notification process and referral to other agencies for comment. This is a definite improvement on the current call-in process and thus we applaud it.
It must, however, be noted that, although ACTPLA is allowed to continue taking these procedural steps, it is not allowed to continue its own internal assessment process. This means that any further advice and recommendations which may arise from the comments received through this public and agency consultation cannot be provided to the minister.
I note here that the scrutiny of bills committee also had concerns about the limitations around ACTPLA’s powers to continue their administrative process. Thus, although we accept this amendment is a slight improvement on the current situation, we very strongly note that it is very far from an ideal process and would hope to see further amendment—possibly introduced by us—on this area in the future.
Clauses 21 to 29 clarify at which point a DA comes into effect after a decision with any outcome is made at ACAT. It is certainly good to provide this clarification for