Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 September 2010) . . Page.. 4177 ..
However, if a lease is deconcessionalised then we can be very confident that the owners are always going to be planning to change the use of the land. In many cases the land has had one use for a long period of time and this land has been owned by a community organisation. Often, given that, there is considerable community interest and concern about the planned change of use. So it is important that the process for determining what happens to the land in the future is as robust and transparent as possible.
There are two issues here: deconcessionalisation and change of use. The EIS exposure draft that Mr Barr introduced last sitting will, if passed, eventually remove the requirement for an EIS on deconcessionalisation, so it makes the need for a good process here even more important. The Greens agree that an EIS on deconcessionalisation is unnecessary, because the EIS is generally dealing with natural environment issues, whereas the issues for deconcessionalisation, given that you do not know the proposed use of the piece of land, are not going to be environmental issues, because we do not know what will happen environmentally. The issues are going to be social and economic. So we are actually thinking that it is the DA proposal that should be the trigger for an EIS process, if required.
However, we also note that, in the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, section 54(1)(e), relating to scoping for deconcessionalisation, includes consideration of social impacts. We propose that deconcessionalisation, instead of triggering an EIS, should trigger a social impact study—and that social impact study should include social, cultural and economic considerations, because these are the things it is clear that deconcessionalisation touches upon, rather than definitively upon something to do with the natural environment.
The other issue, of course, is change of use, because, as I said, after deconcessionalisation, there is always change of use. With change of use, we have been calling for some time for modelling to ensure that we and the rest of the community understand the effects of the proposed changes in change of use charges to densification strategies and to ensure that that does not end up causing more and more of our development to occur in greenfield areas. We want to know what the effect will be on existing landowners, on the supply of infill developments and on the profits of developers. We do not want it to be what the Liberals call it—a massive tax on housing. However, we do believe that the community deserves to get a return when the use of a block of land changes and it becomes more profitable for the owner.
We are waiting for the independent Piggott review to tell us more about these effects and about the real economic and planning advantages, if any, that we will get from changing the change of use system. Change of use is a very important part of the deconcessionalised system, and so, in the context of our discussion here about concessional leases—and thus deconcessionalising—we think it is very important to get this right, and we look forward to further work on this issue. In conclusion, the Greens support what seems like a useful technical simplification.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (10.56), in reply: I thank members for their support of the legislation. As has