Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1520 ..
MR CORBELL: In speaking to Mr Hird's comments, I believe that this oversight inquiry by the Standing Committee on Urban Services is an appropriate and an important one, considering the level of concern in the Aranda and Latham communities over the redevelopment of their local shopping centres. I want to stress very strongly that in proposing this oversight inquiry to the Urban Services Committee initially and gaining the support of my two colleagues I was very conscious of the need to address a couple of factors. The first was to make sure that the various issues being raised by residents in Aranda and Latham were appropriately addressed in a forum where they felt that there was the opportunity to oversight and to make recommendations if the process was not proceeding in a way which was acceptable and which seemed to breach at least the spirit if not the intention of variation No. 64.
Variation No. 64 is a sensible attempt to reinvigorate local centres with a mix of uses, but we must be very conscious that the spirit and the intention of variation No. 64 are not pushed beyond the boundaries for which it was established. I think that was the concern coming from Aranda and Latham residents, and that was the reason for this oversight inquiry.
The oversight inquiry is an open-ended inquiry, in that it has no date by which to report to this Assembly. I would envisage, and hopefully my colleagues on the committee will agree, the opportunity for several reports from the committee at different stages as to what is occurring at Aranda and Latham, or indeed at other local centres that may emerge as areas for possible redevelopment under the provisions of variation No. 64.
I would like to stress that Aranda and Latham are being focused on by this committee only because they are the first two examples that are before PALM in any way, even informally, in relation to an application or a proposed application under variation No. 64. If other local centres emerge as areas for redevelopment under variation No. 64, then the Assembly's committee may very well turn to them too. We want to make sure the process works well. I am very interested in addressing the issue of how you measure liability and how those sorts of issues are dealt with in an appropriate manner.
I hope that through this oversight inquiry members of communities affected have the opportunity to put their concerns to the Urban Services Committee, which oversights the planning functions of PALM. If appropriate, I believe this committee should be able to step in and, if the evidence we are presented with warrants it, say that this process is not working and that variation No. 64 must be addressed in some way. Mr Hird, as chairman, flagged that in his statement earlier.
I think the process at the moment is a sensible one. This inquiry does not stop the process overall but it keeps a weather eye on it, and the committee reserves the right to look at the process again in total, with the consequences that that may have, if it is warranted on the evidence presented to the committee. I think that is an approach which gives residents some certainty but also recognises that variation No. 64 is an active variation and people can make applications under it.
MS TUCKER: I seek leave to make a short statement.