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I wonder what resources will be made available to the LAPACs to distribute papers to local groups and interested members of the community. In all likelihood they will be very limited. On the night that I attended, the representative of the Planning Authority stated that we would have to trust the LAPACs to make decisions without reference to the community. The last thing the Government wants is another process which further slows down the development. This makes me wonder whether the committees have been set up to become a scapegoat when other consultation methods fail. Community consultation must be based on trust. Trust is developed through ongoing cooperative processes. The community must feel that they own the process. The community has been told what the LAPACs are before it has had a chance to provide input. It seems that the Government expects the LAPACs to be able to reflect community concerns to the planners. How they will achieve this remains to be seen.
The Government has said that the LAPACs in North Canberra are a trial. Who will evaluate their success? How will this be done? Will the broader community have input? Will it be the Planning Authority which makes the evaluation? Will the LAPACs evaluate themselves? Will the evaluation be conducted through an independent review? We have urged Mr Humphries to set up an evaluation process now rather than in 12 months. While the Greens sincerely applaud LAPACs as a move to improve planning processes, we believe that it all seems rather rushed and not terribly well thought through. We look forward to seeing what happens to them and wish all the newly elected representatives the best of luck.
On a final note, the ACT Greens have already notified the Government that we do not support the Land and Planning Appeals Board becoming a part of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We believe that it is important to maintain the relative informality of the board, due to the nature of the issues presented to it. We believe that the AAT has a culture which is too formal and would be unsuitable. We also believe that the board itself needs to be kept as it is, with its relatively diverse membership. However, we see some merit in moving it from the Environment and Land Bureau to the Attorney-General's Department. This may instil greater trust in the independence of the board, as the Environment and Land Bureau is obviously often a protagonist in matters before it. In addition, one would presume that the board would have easier access to legal advice where necessary.
MR WOOD (11.05): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again.
MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, Mr Humphries brought this ministerial statement down a little time ago. He concluded by saying that our planning was in a mess. I would acknowledge that it is certainly a matter of much disputation. Nevertheless, it has been a matter of broad agreement. Because of the involvement of this Assembly in developing the Territory Plan and the planning legislation, there was nothing done that was not passed through this Assembly and agreed to by this Assembly.
Mr Humphries: It has not solved the problems, though, has it?