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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3698 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

overcome this problem, a new provision is being included in the Territory Plan to enable the most up-to-date intentions for the development of an area of defined land to be clearly shown on the Territory Plan map. This will minimise the potential for misinterpretation and largely overcome the problems experienced recently at Amaroo. The new provisions are contained in draft variation No 155, which is currently being considered by the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services.

If the system of defined land is removed, the territory will lose its flexibility to respond to changing circumstances. It will impact significantly on the territory's budget, and end purchasers of developed land will have to pay more as a consequence.

The bill Ms Tucker has prepared is quite curious. It amends the act by removing the provisions for defined land. The overlay, however, would remain on the Territory Plan, but in effect it would become sterile. Ms Tucker's amendments are moving against sections 14 and 23, which are about the application of defined land and the exemption that allows defined land to exist. Section 31, which is the definition for subdivision, is left in place.

If this bill were to be passed tonight and any changes were needed for, say, environmental or social needs in a greenfield site where the overlay applies, a variation taking nine to 12 months would have to occur. If an area needed protecting for environmental reasons, or a site were to be extended for recreation land, then that would also be the case.

With the defined land at North Watson woodland, we excised those portions we recently turned into a park. The system of defined land has worked very well there. We admit that since the experience of Amaroo we need to look at the way we do our business, and we will make provisions so that the Territory Plan map is updated regularly.

This is not good law. This is bad law. The process is quite distinct and quite clear. It is quite involved to make an area land defined. Ms Tucker is putting uncertainty and unnecessary cost into the process. The government will be opposing the bill.

MR KAINE (9.51): I do not support the proposal put forward by Ms Tucker. I believe that the concept of defined land serves a useful purpose in the context of planning and development of available land in the territory. To remove the concept of defined land in its entirety is one of those simple solutions that you, Mr Deputy Speaker, referred to earlier today. It is a simple solution and it is wrong.

A better solution for Ms Tucker if she is concerned about the defined land concept would be to propose ways in which defined land could be better managed rather than trying to do away with defined land altogether. Defined land does serve a useful purpose. It was put in the legislation for a good reason, and I believe that it has served a useful purpose. To do away with it in its entirety because some aspects of the management of defined land that perhaps do not please us is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut, in my view.

I will not support this bill, but I would be interested if Ms Tucker cares to follow it up later with a proposal for ways in which defined land might be better managed. That might be more complicated but would be a better solution.

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