Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3917 ..
outlined, the current process for determining when master plans occur is through the cabinet process. In estimates, Mr Barr, the planning minister, was asked who determines what areas are taken to cabinet in this decision-making process. He said that the minister is the one that brings forward those processes. The minister had to be pushed slightly on the point of whether he got any advice from ACTPLA on this. Eventually it appeared that he did seek some sort of advice from ACTPLA.
We have a situation where there is no real process in place to determine how these master plans are prioritised or to involve the community in this process. This is not just about refurbishment; it is about involving the local communities and businesses in the future of their area.
I acknowledge, as Ms Le Couteur did, that the process today is not ideal. Many local areas are not being given any option other than to say, “My area is important. Where do we stand?” That is why the Greens see that where we have a situation with Kambah, which has work planned, other related issues should be consulted on. This does make sense. However, we need a process so that communities do not have to resort to going to the media or use other such means. Rather, we need a process in place that involves the community and establishes a priority list which is clear to everyone.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (4.36): As I indicated in my earlier contribution, there are certain elements of Ms Le Couteur’s motion that the government find extremely difficult to agree with today, not necessarily because we object to the intent perhaps of what Ms Le Couteur is attempting to achieve but just that there are some very clear, practical difficulties in trying to achieve what I understand to be, admittedly from only two speeches and a number of other conversations perhaps over the last two years, what is planning nirvana in the minds of the Greens. I must confess a certain level of frustration that it is nearly impossible to land that sweet spot that seems to keep everyone in this place happy but I am not remotely anticipating a prospect of even getting two-thirds of Canberrans happy. I would probably settle for 51 per cent and unanimity in this place as being as close as you could possibly get to nirvana in terms of planning matters.
We have 360,000 planning experts in this town. Everyone has a different view, and I just think it is idealism beyond the pale to suggest that you are ever going to get absolute agreement. And it is because these matters are dynamic. They are not static. We have a moment in time, we have a snapshot, when we do a neighbourhood plan or we do a master plan and we try to account for the past, the present and the future. But we know that at some point in time in the future there will be: “Yes, but that was so many years ago. In the case of Kambah, seven years is too long.”
Most of the neighbourhood plans that were undertaken under the previous planning regime, prior to the change to the Planning and Development Act, were a snapshot in time representing the views of people who lived in those suburbs at that time. It is a fact of life that a number of people have died since then and a number of people have moved into those suburbs. The changes that were enabled through those neighbourhood planning processes changed the dynamic and there is now a different view in some suburbs.