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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4839 ..


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for Arts and Heritage): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the 1995-96 report of the Heritage Council, which was circulated to members in September when the Assembly was not sitting.


Debate resumed from 21 November 1996, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MS McRAE (4.20): Mr Speaker, the changes in this Bill that we are about to debate today result from the extensive review done by Stein, the Mant/Collins review and the work of the Red Tape Task Force and, as such, reflect a great deal of work and thought about land and planning in the ACT. The changes are not necessarily Labor's changes - although we will be supporting a great number of them - but they are, in our opinion, logical changes that come from this range of reviews. They put in place, in a legal framework, management structures - - -

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Apparently, there is no quorum in the house. For the information of members, Mr Speaker, let me say that I will be calling for quorums right throughout the afternoon. I will ensure that there is a quorum in the house. (Quorum formed)

MS McRAE: What this Bill does is put in place, in law, changes that reflect very good management structures, the conduct of preliminary assessments, the granting of leases and their renewal and the charges related to that, the processes of notification and the provision for their enforcement. Most importantly, it will put in place the role of the Commissioner for Land and Planning, which I think is a breakthrough in the management of land and planning in the ACT. They are changes that come about now, after eight years of self-government, and they reflect extensive inquiries and a great deal of history, testing and experience with the management of leases and land in the ACT since self-government.

As I have said, they are not necessarily changes that Labor might have put in place; but they have a logic of their own, they have substance, they have backup and they have the backing of extensive public inquiry. Overwhelmingly, what we have been hearing from the general public, from everyone who is concerned with the management of land and leases in the ACT, is that what people want most of all is openness, fairness and predictability. They do not mind restrictions placed on the management of our leases, they do not mind restrictions placed on what can be built where; but they want to know what you can do, where you can do it, in what time it can be finished and what the timeframe is for the whole thing. This is the message we have been getting overwhelmingly from the community.

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