Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 October 2010) . . Page.. 5069 ..
I have also had numerous complaints about ACTPLA’s website not containing all the information when the consultation period starts, and then it only appears, in some instances, after complaints. This means that the full information is not available for the whole consultation period. Given how complex some of the documents can be, this is not a fair process. Also, those people who looked at the information when the DA first went up on the website may not be aware of the missing documents. ACTPLA should take better steps to ensure that all information is available at the outset of the consultation period.
The Greens will continue to monitor and advocate for improvements in the Planning and Development Act and to ensure that the community has a fair process to work with. I look forward to further planning bills to achieve this.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (5.15), in reply: I am pleased to be able to speak again to close this debate. I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his succinct—I believe it was 75 seconds—speech in support of the legislation. I also thank Ms Le Couteur for providing some comedy this afternoon. It is always a pleasure to hear from Ms Le Couteur on planning matters, and certainly her contribution this afternoon contained a rare moment of comedy in the planning debate. I acknowledge that contribution, although I do feel, Ms Le Couteur, that if you are going to use comedy, it is best not to undermine yourself a little later in the speech by revealing where the true source of your ideas come from. But I digress, Mr Speaker.
As I have noted previously, this bill applies to the process of public notification of applications for development approval under the Planning and Development Act. This process is commonly referred to as the public notification process, and this bill is about practical, well-targeted improvements to the development application public notification process.
The key elements of the bill have already been raised and discussed, so I do not propose to go through the bill in detail again. But I will take a moment to touch on a few important points. The measures in this bill apply if ACTPLA discovers an error in the content of the original notice. If ACTPLA believes the error is one which could impair someone’s ability to understand or comment on the development proposal, then, and only then, must ACTPLA repeat the notification process. The same approach applies if the required sign on the property or notice in a newspaper is defective or was never made at all.
These provisions only apply to errors or defects brought to the attention of ACTPLA during the original public notification period. The provisions do not apply to any errors discovered after this period. These practical measures represent an incremental improvement to the existing public notification system. They are consistent with a public notification and assessment process that is fair, effective and able to produce timely decisions that can be relied upon.
This bill is, as I have already noted, significant not just for what it does but also for what it does not do. As previously indicated, these matters concerning public