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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3967 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

What concerns me with Ms Tucker's broadening of that is that it seems to me it would also apply to where an individual wishes to modify their bathroom, or where there is a substantial modification inside the house that does require planning approval. Now, I do not see that that should be appealable or notifiable to neighbours. I do not think it has anything to do with neighbours. When you are talking about going closer to the boundary and it can have an overshadowing impact on neighbours, it can have a range of other impacts; so that is why that notification exists, and appropriately so.

It may well be that what Ms Tucker intended was that, if somebody has a single dwelling and they are going to put up a second storey, the neighbours ought to be notified; but if that is done within all the rules that are set out, I think the notification is unnecessary. I would hope that neighbours, out of politeness, would inform their neighbours. Most neighbours, I imagine, would talk about what is going on within their homes. I think in the case of the single dwelling that the notification is not necessary because it meets the criteria.

I understand where Ms Tucker is coming from. As I say, my immediate reaction was to support her Bill, but I think the unintended consequences of the legislation, as I read it, are serious enough for me to say, "No, I am not prepared to support it at this stage".

MS TUCKER (11.41): Mr Speaker, I will speak just at the moment to Mr Corbell's call-in powers Bill. I have explained already to you and to other members that we need to seek an adjournment to a later time this day because of some procedural issues that need to be sorted out because my Bill deals with two different issues.

I will speak now to Mr Corbell's call-in powers Bill. I was interested to hear the Minister say that he would not support my call-in powers legislation, but he would support Mr Corbell's because he thinks it would serve a useful purpose. It is clear that Mr Smyth thinks it does serve a useful purpose, basically to fast-track development applications and avoid third party appeals against applications. In the case of the new Woden cinemas and the lease variation at Homeworld in Tuggeranong, the Minister, Mr Smyth, openly said that the call-in powers had been exercised to stop appeal processes that had already been initiated by objectors. In the case of the expansion of the Manuka cinemas, the Minister actually overruled the commissioner's initial decision to reject the application.

It would be hard to regard these development applications as major proposals of territory-wide significance. It is a statement of the obvious that the Minister thinks it serves a useful purpose. We are obviously concerned about the implications of such a power, particularly as it is totally without any appeal rights. It is not even able really to be brought to the Assembly. We could make it disallowable, but that would be quite messy, and it would involve processes that took up time anyway. So why not just keep this seated in proper planning processes, which is what our proposal on the call-in powers was basically supporting - that we do not have any situation where the Minister just makes a decision and is all powerful?

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