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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 703 ..

committee, particularly given the high level of community commentary on this issue and the level of community involvement during this inquiry.

In this context the committee wishes to highlight the first and what it felt was the key recommendation contained in its report. This overarching recommendation requested that:

… the ACT government respond to the clear expression of community views throughout this inquiry with a review and potential update of the Signs General Code (ACT), Public Unleased Land Act 2013, Planning and Development Act 2007 and associated regulations and Codes of Practice. This review is to be completed by the end of 2019.

In its response to this recommendation the government indicated that the matter was complex and that a coordinated approach across government is required. However, it was not apparent that it intended to move forward to resolve these complexities or to take up the opportunity to meet community expectations. Whilst it is acknowledged that the Minister for Planning and Land Management stated in his tabling speech that an interdirectorate working group will be established to review relevant legislation, regulations and government policies relating to outdoor advertising signage in the ACT, the committee notes with concern that there is no formal commitment to this course of action.

The committee therefore strongly encourages the ACT government to reaffirm to the Assembly and the ACT community its intention and commitment to undertake a review of the current legislation, regulations and codes that apply to signage in the ACT and that it puts on record a definite time frame for this review to be undertaken.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (12.08), by leave: I thank the committee for its inquiry into billboards. As the government response made clear, we agree in principle to the committee’s recommendations. In agreeing in principle we acknowledged we would need to consider the most appropriate way to do a review given that regulatory settings around billboards are complex and the need for an across-government approach. I note and acknowledge the comments from the committee chair today. The committee did a comprehensive job of examining the issue and the inquiry has made a very valuable contribution to the debate. The government acknowledges and respects the considerable amount of community interest the committee canvassed.

The government have unambiguously stated that we will review billboards. As a media release I issued on February 22 makes clear, billboard rules will be reviewed. The release noted that the ACT government response to the recent inquiry into billboards will see a review undertaken to look at billboard use, including the overview of the regulatory settings and the rules around outdoor advertising across Canberra. I will quote from the media release:

… there was strong feeling about this issue across the Canberra community and that this review will be focused on regulatory inconsistencies and working out a clear way forward.

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