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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 7 October 2021) . . Page.. 2847 ..

Another example is the Planning and Construction Industry Chief Executive Reference Group, which is the main forum for conversations between government and the planning, development and construction sectors. Meeting with this group has been especially relevant, as the construction industry was so severely impacted by the lockdown.

This reference group has been meeting with peak bodies in the sector as often as three times a week. Officials from across government attend, including Health, ACT Policing, and the work safety commissioner. Peak bodies include the Housing Industry Association, Canberra Business Chamber, Property Council of Australia, Real Estate Industry Association of the ACT, Master Builders Association and Institute of Architects. Feedback received from one member was that it is a great opportunity to see the directorate facilitating regular communication with industry as we navigate our way through COVID-19.

We want to make sure that industry has projects ready when we are out of lockdown. Part of the conversation with the reference group is sharing how the government is doing engagement and inviting industry to consider how they can navigate engagement during this time. We are, as usual, able to assist them with community consultation practices in the current public health situation.

We have encouraged industry to make sure any engagement sessions are COVID safe and that they provide alternative ways for at-risk groups to learn about and give feedback on construction projects.

We have also championed extending the DA community consultation for prescribed developments beyond the minimum two-week time frame outlined in the pre-DA guidelines. Interested members of the community can see a fact sheet on the planning website called “Having your say on developments in the ACT”. This fact sheet explains the difference between development application public notifications and pre-DA community consultation and outlines how the community can have their say on developments.

These changes to virtual and more frequent consultation have been an adjustment for many. I wish to thank stakeholders and members of the community who have adapted to these changes and who have continued to share their valuable interest, personal contributions and contributions on behalf of the community and industry. We look forward to continuing engagement as we emerge out of lockdown.

I present the following paper:

Consultation during lockdown related to planning and development—Ministerial statement, 7 October 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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