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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 25 February 2010) . . Page.. 717 ..

A key feature of the broader planning system is the focus of public consultation in the development of the territory plan and its related codes. This is designed to make the system fairer on everyone by engaging the community in setting the planning rules rather than debating policy through individual development proposals. This is a very important aspect of our consultation processes.

It is the intent of the government to ensure that there are appropriate opportunities for the public to be effectively engaged in strategic planning projects and the development of planning policy. However, we will also limit the potential for policy to be subject to contest through the processing of individual development applications. At the same time, the government will continue to promote and encourage those who propose to develop or use land where a development application is required to consult those who may be affected by their proposals and respond appropriately before lodging a development application.

Finally, good planning works to harmonise our communal, economic and environmental needs. There is no doubt that bringing these needs together can be a very difficult balancing act. But balance is at the heart of the government’s approach to planning. Balance also applies to our approach to development. To ensure development assessment is undertaken without political or commercial interference, the government will continue to keep politics out of planning.

The development assessment process will remain a statutory function. This is to make sure that decisions are made at arm’s length from government, providing the community and industry with confidence in the separation of powers between policy making and development assessment decision makers.

To summarise, the government’s planning intent in relation to this key planning function is to maintain the statutory independence of development assessment and to prioritise the timely processing of development assessment and to ensure transparency of information about development assessment.

The act requires that the minister table the statement of planning intent in the Assembly not later than six days after the statement is given to the authority. I have given a copy of the statement of planning intent to the Chief Planning Executive of the ACT Planning and Land Authority earlier this week. I table it today for members.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo), by leave: I thank the planning minister for bringing this to the Assembly’s attention. We have our usual comments about the role of politics in planning and I think this is the role that politics has in planning—that is, the role of determining the overall intent of our planning system. Obviously I can only talk about this at a high level because I received the document only about half an hour ago. I would say that generally it seems something which we would be agreeing with. I think that everyone in this Assembly wants a sustainable city. I am sure that everyone in Canberra wants a sustainable city. With this document, as with the rest of the planning system, the devil is in the detail.

We have been talking for a long time about creating a city that is green, sustainable, climate change ready, water sensitive, child friendly, inclusive et cetera. What we

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