Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3082 ..
MS HORODNY (continuing):
This state of affairs cannot be blamed on the bureaucracy alone. Clearly, successive governments, both Federal and local ACT governments, have played a role in this, too, and must share the responsibility for this state of affairs. After all, it is up to the legislators to provide the general policy direction for the planners. No-one in this chamber can rightfully claim that complaints about planning and the leasehold system are new phenomena. Indeed, they are not. As has already been stated, there have been over a dozen inquiries in the last 25 years.
The Greens are delighted that the report has come down in support of maintaining a leasehold system. Through the leasehold system, the Government retains a greater degree of control over the urban landscape than it otherwise would have. Despite the fact that we are blessed with a leasehold system, this city has many examples of what can only be characterised as planning disasters. Irrespective of whether allegations of corruption actually carry any truth, it is clear that changes need to be made to planning processes in the ACT and that these planning processes need to be made more open and accountable and more responsive to community needs. Major social and environmental considerations do not appear to have had a major impact on recent planning decisions in the ACT. If they had, we would not have seen decisions which have led to the development of new suburbs - for instance, Symonston - where access to public transport is extremely difficult. It means, effectively, that 600 cars will be travelling to the BMR building, for instance, each day. The Tuggeranong Town Centre is not in the centre of Tuggeranong at all.
The Stein report has 96 recommendations which range from amendments to freedom of information legislation through to a proposal for changes to administrative practices. The implications of the full set of recommendations obviously need very careful consideration, and I will be reading the report in much greater detail during January. I have looked at it in some detail, but I obviously need to look at it much more carefully. I will take into consideration the comments that Mr Wood, Mr Moore and Mr Humphries made. As Mr Moore said, we will be looking at the implications of the report in the Planning and Environment Committee.
Debate (on motion by Ms McRae) adjourned.
Paper and Statement
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister): Mr Speaker, in question time today I was requested by the Assembly to table details of relocation expenses, rent relief and associated benefits in respect of Mr Walker's appointment. I now table the response to Mr Berry's motion which was moved after question time. Mr Speaker, I would like to speak about the precedent that this sets, about the motion and about the answer.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Leave was granted to table the documents. No further leave was granted.