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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1098 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

a dilemma. I think that Mr Osborne is correct in wanting to keep this process moving. I think it is also important to exercise caution in the coming phase.

There is concern by the Planning Authority that with a gazettal tomorrow their process will be somewhat interfered with. It is the role of the Planning Authority to decide when to get a draft variation gazetted and out into the public arena for further consultation. Consultation will continue. Even at this late stage of the debate, I find it difficult to resolve this issue in my mind. I understand the frustration of the Planning Authority, who are going through their normal process and have been interrupted by this debate today.

Mr Speaker, I will continue to listen to the debate, although there may not be too many speeches left. I will be convinced one way or the other at some stage of the game.

MR CORBELL (9.18): I will close the debate, unless another member wishes to speak, by responding to a range of issues raised in the debate. First of all, I thank members for their support for the thrust of this motion; in particular, the proposal not to permit this proposed policy change, this draft variation, to take interim effect. I do believe that that is the most important decision the Assembly needed to take tonight.

I would like to respond to a number of issues raised by other members in the debate; in particular, Mr Smyth. Mr Smyth went to great pains to make the argument that interim effect means that the provisions are tougher, to use his words. The reality is that that is simply not true. I have only to point to one example to demonstrate that. At the moment, there is no provision in the Territory Plan to permit section master planning for residential development, particularly for dual occupancy development.

The proposed code does implement a section master planning process. Therefore, if this draft variation had interim effect, a developer would be entitled-indeed, obliged-to prepare a section master plan for any multiunit development. It would be the more onerous requirement under the Territory Plan. But with section master planning, there is a provision that permits any of the provisions of the code to be exceeded or ignored. For instance, setbacks can be less than specified in the draft variation or the existing Territory Plan, because section master plans allow that to happen. Equally, the level of density permitted in the draft variation or the Territory Plan can be exceeded through an approved master plan. That will happen if the draft variation takes effect tomorrow. So it is not a more onerous requirement. Indeed, in a roundabout way it is a less onerous requirement. But it will happen and, what's more, it will happen with the permission of the minister and without any provision for appeal or review. That is not acceptable and that is not making it tougher.

Secondly, the minister raised the issue that the government was implementing the recommendations of the Lansdown review. In a number of respects, they are formalising recommendations of the Lansdown review, particularly in relation to dual occupancy development. But in two respects they are not. The first one is recommendation 2 of the Lansdown review, relating to dual occupancy development. Lansdown recommended that the floor space ratio-that is, the plot ratio-should be no higher than 0.35, 35 per cent of the block covered by building. The new code will permit dual occupancy development to cover up to 50 per cent of the block through a section master planning process. The government is not implementing the provisions suggested by Lansdown in that review; it is going beyond the provisions suggested by Lansdown.

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