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Mr Wood raised the issue of planning in Ottawa and Washington and quoted from the new Chief Executive of the National Capital Planning Authority. I would like to reinforce Mr Wood's comments. I have been to both of those cities and have spent quite a bit of time in both of those cities. I believe that, if anybody is going to do any learning from anywhere, then those cities could do very well to come to Canberra and see how it is done. I would be delighted if the National Capital Planning Authority and the Territory Planning Authority amalgamated. That would provide for other bodies an example of how local, Territory and Federal government functions can be integrated and how people can work together on an effective planning authority. I believe that it can be done. I believe that it is a cheaper way to do things. I think it would be a more effective way to do things. It gives me quite a deal of pleasure to support the motion that Mr Kaine has moved.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (11.11): Mr Speaker, I am also very happy to support this motion and indicate that I hope that it does form the basis of some discussions with the Federal Government about the way in which the future of the Territory Plan should be conducted. It is also with a little relief that I hear the support in the chamber for the views that Mr Kaine has expressed in his motion. I am a relative newcomer to planning issues in the Territory. When looking at the issues, it seemed to me to be almost axiomatic that Canberra had a major problem by having two separate and fairly independent planning systems. To hear that people agree that there is a need for us to look at the issues of how to integrate those two systems is gratifying.
Mr Kaine made reference to the fact that, in a sense, the system of planning in Canberra gave rise to the great dissatisfaction with the way in which the system has operated here and the way in which planning decisions have been made and have delivered particular results. If people enjoy complaining about the actions of a government authority, they will have even more pleasure at being able to complain about two different authorities. It even gives a chance for members of one government to complain about the authority of another. That may well be the case.
The examples that Mr Wood referred to of problems that the ACT has encountered in recent years - problems with the Magistrates Court and problems with the hospice - are good illustrations of how inevitably our system revolves around conflict at that level. To the best of my observation, the people in both planning authorities are extremely talented planners and are very good at the job that they do. It is distressing to think that these people, all of whom have, as far as I can tell, a strong sense of what Canberra should be doing - how we best promote appropriate balance between development and the maintenance of the natural environment and the city and so forth - should be in conflict on a fairly regular basis about important issues. That is a matter of some concern.
Mr Wood went through those two examples. Others that I am aware of concern things like the Link at the Canberra Theatre. A tentative proposal by the ACT to enhance the Link between the Playhouse and the Canberra Theatre was put into serious jeopardy by the NCPA when it required that the Link be partially underground, obviously adding very considerably to the expense of that proposal. The Russell Hill office development is not so much a problem, but I suppose that it gives some concern to any government which