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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2020 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 7 May 2020) . . Page.. 981 ..

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Gentleman) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent items of Private Members’ business, as ordered by the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure, being called on and debated on each sitting Thursday, immediately following the presentation of papers, for the remainder of the Ninth Assembly.

Quorum formed.

Planning Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

Ms Le Couteur, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (2.48): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

First, my apologies to members who had to come down to the chamber for a quorum. We had misunderstood the order of business, and we got it wrong, obviously.

Moving right along, the planning system needs substantial reform. It needs to play a much bigger role in fixing climate change and reducing the environmental impacts of development. It needs to substantially improve the quality of development, including better protection for trees and green space. It needs to get much better at helping residents who are impacted by development proposals to have their say and to be heard.

It needs to deliver on one of the other big challenges of our time—housing affordability. The planning and development system in Canberra currently does not deliver decent, affordable housing. Instead, it delivers huge, unaffordable homes and often damages the amenity of local suburbs in the process.

I constantly hear about these problems from constituents and community groups. Many people contact me, concerned about the concreting of Canberra and the loss of trees and green space. Many people contact me to complain about their interactions with the planning system. I hear every day on social media the voices of younger people who are angry about housing affordability. I am confident that all other members hear these concerns as well.

As part of this, I urge members, as I did earlier today, to take a look at the report that I tabled this morning by the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal in its inquiry into the development application system. It is an excellent summary of the issues that people face when interacting with the planning system.

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