Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (20 April) . . Page.. 1014 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
The urban housing code provided for a protection against overshadowing which only included the existing dwelling on a particular block. The committee came to the view that this was not the most sensible course of action and that, instead, it was appropriate to protect the living space of a resident on an existing block, and the way to do that was to use the word "block" instead of "dwelling". I am hopeful that the Government will respond to that recommendation positively. From the Minister's smile, perhaps that will be the case. That recommendation is an important one. I know that it is one which has been an issue of major concern for existing residents of the areas and I am hopeful that it will go some of the way to addressing their concerns about what sort of impact redevelopment will have on their lease.
Mr Deputy Speaker, another issue that came up in the course of the inquiry which was of significant concern to me and, I believe, to the committee as a whole was in relation to the consultation process and how the consultation process was managed in relation to section master plans. Section master plans are a positive step in achieving a greater level of detailed planning in particular areas of the B11 and B12 zone, and indeed other areas where they may be applied. It became very clear that section master plans would have to be implemented in a very open way and in a way which considered a very wide range of issues. In the report, an officer of PALM outlined the best way of that occurring. I believe that that is the process that the Government must be adopting when it implements the process for consultation on section master plans. That is why the committee has recommended that PALM should prepare a document, freely available to the public, that sets out the manner in which it will handle the consultation process in relation to section master plans, so that everyone understands from the beginning - PALM, residents and others involved in any consultation process - how it will operate, what the steps will be and what will be the issues that are canvassed. That needs to occur consistently. If it does not occur consistently, the legitimacy of the section master planning process will be brought into doubt. For that reason, I am hopeful that the Government will seriously adopt that recommendation.
The third one, flowing on from the previous recommendation, dealt with the resources available for the preparation and management of section master plans. There is no point in having this level of detailed planning in the inner north that is able to take into account the specifics of a particular area if you do not have the resources available to do that. The committee is very concerned that PALM at the moment does not have those resources. PALM simply does not have the people on the ground to do that work. It is work that needs to be done if the B11 and B12 zone is to be successful. That is why the committee has recommended that PALM must be provided with extra resources to ensure that additional work associated with the preparation and management of the section master plans is performed quickly, efficiently and to a high planning standard. That is an important recommendation. The Minister will be aware of my comments in relation to the lack of resourcing in PALM. I hope that, in relation to this area at least, he adopts the committee's recommendation.
The next recommendation dealt with regular updates on the implementation of variation No. 109. That is a very important step that needs to take place. It is important that the committee continue to perform an oversight role and make sure that variation No. 109 is