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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3739 ..




Debate resumed from 2 September 1999, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with the Lands Acquisition Amendment Bill 1999? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating order of the day No. 11 they may also address their remarks to order of the day No. 12.

MR CORBELL (4.19): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Land Planning and Environment Amendment Bill (No. 3) 1999 and the Lands Acquisition Amendment Bill 1999 are both highly significant Bills in the context of leasehold administration of rural properties in the ACT. Rural leases serve important functions for the people who work them and invest so much time in them. But they also serve important planning functions for the ACT. The metropolitan form of the national capital is defined not only by the urban and suburban areas of our city, but also by the clear interface between urban and rural areas. The planners of Canberra devised our city to sit within a typical Australian rural setting.

Policies providing for the maintenance of viable and sustainable rural properties were important in creating the context of the national capital. Mr Speaker, as Canberra developed, previous territory administrations ensured that rural leases were administered to make sure that land was managed for the purposes of a land bank. Land identified for future suburban development was given restricted tenure so that it could be withdrawn or resumed at a time required for development. This process served the city well and allowed for orderly development as Canberra grew.

However, as the final metropolitan structure of the ACT was determined, there remained many rural leases still with significant restrictions placed on them in relation to their tenure. This has created problems for rural lessees seeking to plan for the future management of their properties with significant environmental consequences. Placing long-term investment needed to address problems relating to damage to environmental rural leases has not been a viable option for a rural lessee with restricted tenure. In essence, this is what these two Bills seek to remedy. Labor supports in principle such an approach.

As a territory we will need to maintain more restricted tenure of leases for city areas still expanding, such as Gungahlin, and where in future we will need to withdraw land for urban development. But in areas where development will not be occurring - land to the

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