Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 December 2011) . . Page.. 5749 ..
All my amendment is proposing is to make changes to the notices which go out in letter format, as it does not make much difference to ACTPLA if the letter is a bit longer, and to the sign which is displayed. Given that a few years ago we changed from an A4 sign to an A3 sign, we have actually got enough space on the signs to display more text as long as the fonts are reasonably small.
I am quite happy with the idea that you have to be standing right next to the sign to be able to read it. It does not have to be a large font. The signs are big enough to attract people’s attention. If people are interested they will go up close to it and read it. But it is really frustrating when people go up to a sign only to find they then have to go to a website to work out what the actual proposal is.
If the lease variation is really so terribly long, then this provision in my amendment allows ACTPLA to make a summary of the proposal and a reference the website. I understand that the government may have a different way of achieving the same basic end. I welcome that discussion today.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.59): While the government agrees with the intention of the proposed amendments in relation to the details of lease variation DAs being made available, the government will not be supporting this amendment. The reason for that is that the government believes the same result can be achieved without the need to include such requirements in legislation.
The government would propose instead to use its form-making powers in the Planning and Development Act to require a description or, if necessary, a summary of the proposed lease variation on the physical DA sign and newspaper notice. In summary, the procedure that is proposed would include using the form-making power to prescribe the form of a DA notice for a lease variation; making improvements to the act for websites so that information relevant to a DA for lease variation is more readily accessible; amending the ACTPLA redevelopment form so that proponents fully describe the proposal without needing to attach a separate sheet, although it should be noted that some lease variations are quite complex; and educating and informing major developers in the industry on the new requirements.
The administrative process would include steps such as the DA notice sign and notice in the paper to include the full details of the lease variation, where possible and practical. If the details of the lease variation are too lengthy, a summary of the lease variation DA is to be provided by the proponent.
In these situations, the DA notice and newspaper notification will note that this represents a summary of the proposal and that a full description is available on the website; the proponent would be required to summarise the proposal—this summary will be used on the DA sign; use form making power to prescribe the form of a DA notice that is for a lease variation; make improvements to the website so that information relevant to a DA for lease variation is more readily accessible; as I have said, amending the e-development form to fully describe the proposal without needing to attach a separate sheet; and education of developers and industry.