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Ms Horodny said that the resources for the LAPACs are inadequate. I again emphasise that it would be easy to fund the LAPACs heavily, to provide them with researchers and full-time paid employees and to give them extensive roles equating with the role of the Planning Authority, the Planning and Environment Committee of the Assembly or some other equivalent. They are not resources that this Territory can afford to provide across the board. They might be sustainable in respect of three LAPACs in North Canberra. They will not be sustainable if we have 20 LAPACs across the whole of the Territory. We have to ask people to do a job within the framework of the existing research and decision-making processes. That means sitting down with people like the Planning Authority, getting information from them about the way in which they collect information and do research on planning needs, and using that resource to form views about the way in which we should make planning decisions affecting local communities. That is much more sensible than trying to replicate that role, that level of decision-making, out in the community.

Mr Speaker, I was very surprised by Ms Horodny’s comment that the whole process seemed rather rushed. Local area planning has been an issue on the agenda of this Territory for some time. We announced six months or more ago that we would introduce local area planning. We have worked through the issues carefully. I am being pressed by people to extend the concept to other areas and to give local areas more responsibility at this early stage. With respect, I cannot accommodate both those community concerns and Ms Horodny's concern that we are taking it too quickly. We have to work through this concept and try to deal with the issues in a proper timeframe.

Ms Horodny perhaps has not been involved with planning long enough to know that there are many serious problems with the way in which the Land and Planning Appeals Board has operated. Those problems have to be addressed, but they will not be addressed by throwing out the experience of existing members of the Land and Planning Appeals Board. It is the Government's intention to make all of those existing members of that board members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal so that their experience in this area will be retained and built into the new model. I am very disappointed to hear Ms Horodny say that she thinks the AAT is too formal. The AAT is one of the least formal of our courts and tribunals in the Territory. It is important that we use that model, a model which provides a greater level of certainty to people who use it than we have had in the past.

Mr Speaker, I could talk about strategic planning that we are now getting under way, about limits to dwelling densities in the ACT, about having a strategy for local shops, about addressing the dual planning regime Mr Kaine spoke about, about improving design quality, about limiting land releases in the Territory. Those are all things this Government has put on the agenda in planning in the last little while. I do not have time to talk about those things. Let me say, though, that we in this Government take seriously the challenge of facing up to the many severe problems, at least in perception, on the part of the citizens of the Territory concerning planning in this town. People do not think the planning system has delivered for them a result that they like. It is this Government's lot to try to turn that perception around and build a much stronger system. We intend to do that job in this process.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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