None . . Page.. 1533 ..
But their community consultation was a lot more than that. They had a committee of, I think, eight people and probably some support staff. They visited every capital city. I would like to know what that exercise cost. They produced - and so they should have - a very fine brochure to explain what they were on about. But I have a right, when I see the ACT Planning Authority working so hard in our budget situation, not overflowing with funds - and the National Capital Planning Authority sending a large team around Australia - to ask what we could do for planning here with that money. If we had one merged planning authority, the Commonwealth would not be so generous as to provide all that money. I think it does point to the lack of balance between these two planning authorities. The planning for the new Gungahlin Town Centre - how it will look - cost us something like $50,000. That is only a fraction of what this consultancy for the National Capital Planning Authority would have cost. Our people did a brilliant job on that; and I congratulated them on it. But they did it on a shoestring budget, and with a lot of dedication and competence.
While I support this motion for one planning authority, I want to express my appreciation for the goodwill indicated by their new Chief Executive at a dinner address last week. He certainly said the right words. While we have this situation of two authorities operating at the moment, his intentions seem very good and very sincere. I might take issue with him on one remark. He quoted the planning powers in Canada's national capital region that are shared, he said, among one federal authority, two provinces, three regional governments and 27 municipalities. I have heard at other times about the very complex planning arrangements in Washington DC. I do not think that is anything to go by. We can do better here. It is not sufficient to argue that ours are simple by comparison. Our planning functions can be better, as Mr Kaine suggested; and they ought to be. That is the aim that we should have. If we can achieve one planning authority, I will be the first to congratulate the Government. You would not want to wait, in all your planning operations, for that achievement.
MR MOORE (11.07): Mr Speaker, I welcome this motion by Mr Kaine. It is particularly timely that we should be discussing this issue at the moment, although the debate is by no means new. In fact, in the early 1980s, the White committee reported on, amongst other things, what planning there should be and what role planning should have in a self-governing ACT. That committee suggested a single planning authority. The arrangements that we have now - the separate planning authorities; the local one and, supposedly, the overview by the National Capital Planning Authority - I believe, are a result of bureaucratic negotiations between people who were concerned about the power that they had and about what might happen to the Territory and the national capital interest in the Territory. In fact, the conventional wisdom in the planning circles that I moved in at the time was: Thank goodness we have a National Capital Planning Authority, because it will be able to manage the excesses of the local Territory Planning Authority. I think there are far better ways to do that.
First of all, let me say that, on many occasions, I have been critical of the Territory Planning Authority and the Ministers who were responsible for that Planning Authority. My most strident criticism has been about the lack of a strategic plan. I welcome the fact that all members in this Assembly have recognised the need for that strategic plan.