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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3170 ..

MR CORBELL (3.28): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will also be supporting this bill today. There is often an issue in relation to the accuracy of some development applications that are lodged in terms of how they relate to the block on the ground, and how any new development application does fit into the block on which the application is made. There have been a number of instances where a survey would have been a useful instrument in ensuring that the proposal was consistent with the physical features of the lease, and it is clearly the intention of Mr Rugendyke's bill to address that issue. For that reason the Labor Party will be supporting his bill today.

I think, though, as the Chief Minister has flagged, that there may be instances in which it would be inappropriate to require a survey certificate-for example, as the Chief Minister points out, in relation to carports and other minor structures, the class 10 structures that he referred to. I think it would be an overly onerous requirement to require a householder, a leaseholder, to have a survey prepared of their entire block outlining exactly where the dwellings and others structures were on the block prior to getting permission to erect a carport or a pergola. That sort of approach in most instances would be, in Labor's view, unacceptable.

There are a number of the government's amendments which I will speak to in the detail stage which I have a slight concern with, amendment No 3 in particular, but we can deal with that in the detail stage. Labor welcomes this bill. It is a small but useful step in ensuring that residents affected by development applications know that the proposal for a development is consistent with the physical features of the lease on which the development is proposed.

MS TUCKER (3.30): This bill requires development applications which involve alterations or additions to existing buildings to be accompanied by a survey certificate which confirms the locations of the existing buildings on the block. I can understand what Mr Rugendyke is trying to do. It may be the case with some existing buildings that the building was not sited or constructed exactly as shown on the original plans. This could be because of error or because the plan was changed in response to issues that arose during construction. This may not be noted on the building file and may not be an issue for the owners, but it can become an issue if plans are drawn up for alterations or additions that rely on the building being in a certain location relative to the block boundaries or of a certain height-above-ground level. This is particularly so if such dimensions are an important factor in the approval of the development.

My concern with the bill, however, is that it applies to all development applications regardless of their scale, and even when the location of an existing building is quite clear and not in dispute. I also would have thought that any good architect, draftsperson or builder would check the critical dimensions of a building anyway before commencing design work or construction that affected the building.

This bill could thus lead to the unwarranted expense of getting survey certificates that are not really needed in every case. I am therefore not totally convinced that this wholesale change to the requirements placed on development applications is necessary to deal with the few cases where problems arise.

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