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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 412 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

We are against extending the appeal rights, particularly for items that have never been notified. To make it carte blanche, to make it available to all, is a ridiculous extension. It will put on the officers in PALM a burden that is not needed and is unwarranted. We will oppose the bill.

MS TUCKER (4.15), in reply: I need to clarify something Mr Smyth said. He has misunderstood our bill. As a simple explanation, let me say that the regulations currently provide a range of exemptions to the requirements of the land act for public notification and third-party appeals rights against development applications. In the case of development applications for single houses, many houses can be approved without any public notification, provided they comply with a number of conditions listed in schedule 4 of the regulations-for example, that they have a six-metre set-back from the front boundary or that they be only one storey. If the house does not meet those conditions, then the neighbours have to be notified and comment sought.

Under schedule 7 of the regulations appeal rights for single houses are specifically excluded. Clause 5 of my bill simply deletes this exclusion, with the result that house applications that are notified-and Mr Smyth is wrong to say that I am saying any house, whether it is notified or not-is going to be now appealable.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! Mr Berry. I would ask you to observe standing order 41, please.

Mr Berry: Remind me.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: You should not pass between someone speaking and the chair.

Mr Berry: I respectfully apologise.


MS TUCKER: How could you interrupt in the middle of that? You were not listening, obviously. The important point here is that this legislation is quite clearly not about houses that are not able to be notified. Mr Smyth is wrong in that. It is a very important point, because it shows that this bill is quite reasonable.

Clause 5 in my bill simply deletes the exclusion, with the result that house applications that are notified to neighbours will be able to be appealed against. House applications that are currently not publicly notified are not affected by this bill.

Mr Smyth said that there have been a few problems but mostly the current legislation is working well. I am sorry, that is not the impression I and other members are getting from the community. Very large houses are being built on blocks in a way that has quite a negative impact on neighbours. That is why we have brought this legislation to the Assembly. It is a reasonable approach to ensuring the balance Mr Smyth claims he is interested in.

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