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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1096 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

housing blocks. It adopts the successful section master planning process which has been used in the inner north in recent years and extends it throughout the city.

As I stated at the outset, the government understands what the community values about the amenity and unique qualities of this beautiful city. It is now more challenging to achieve outcomes that everyone will be happy with, but the common objective remains the same. Increasingly, we have more comprehensive and sophisticated tools at our disposal. Let us talk about the tools and their application. Let us acknowledge and understand the evolving nature and needs of our community within this great city and agree on the way forward.

ACTCode has already been the subject of extensive consultation and it is about to move into the next formal round of consultation. Yes, there will be more consultation. There will be public information seminars and information published which will provide the facts for those who are interested. That will enable residents to make an informed assessment of the impact of the policies. They will then be able to provide their comment, which in turn will be considered by the Assembly.

Mr Speaker, I wish to reiterate the point about the interim effect. Are we giving anything away? No, we are not. The interim effect means that the most onerous provision, either from the existing situation or from the draft variation, will apply. That makes it tougher, it makes it stronger and it makes it even harder on developers. We have the appropriate processes in place to consider these very important policies. Let them run their course and let us not have them subverted by Mr Corbell.

MR OSBORNE (9:07): Mr Speaker, the issue for me on this motion is not necessarily about the content of ACTCode at this stage. It may well be later. I have to be honest and say that I have not, and I am quite certain my office has not gone, through the guts of what is actually contained in this document. That concerns me a little bit. It concerns me as well that there seems to be some perception that there has not been enough community consultation. From listening to Mr Smyth, it is quite clear that many changes are being proposed by this government, so it concerns me to think that there is a perception, whether real or not, that people have not had the opportunity to give feedback.

My understanding is that the document was put out about six months ago, but the reality is that there was no opportunity for the community to make any comments on the information. I am concerned that enough has not been done. The question for me is what to do. I have looked at Mr Corbell's motion and it does seem to me to create a process which could get bogged down for quite a period. We are all well aware of the passions that planning evokes in some people, myself excluded.

I understand that lots of people are quite passionate about planning. My fear about setting up an official community advisory panel is that it would get bogged down and achieve nothing and that there would be a lot of infighting. I do not quite know how the community panel would be established. In paragraph (b) of the motion, Mr Corbell has given some indication of who should be on it, but many community residents associations and professional and business representatives might want to get on the panel.

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