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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3699 ..

MR CORBELL (9.53): The provision for defined land is an important planning tool available to the territory, particularly in greenfield areas. Ms Tucker's proposal this evening seeks to change the way defined land operates. Effectively, it removes the flexibility currently available to the ACT Planning Authority in the planning, in particular, of greenfield residential subdivisions.

Ms Tucker seeks to use a legislative solution to address what has been a problem with the way defined land has been administered, information has been provided to residents and land release has been managed. That is not the appropriate approach.

Defined land, in a number of instances-most notably the instance at Amaroo-has been managed poorly. In Labor's view, it has been managed poorly because the government's land release sequencing has not been far enough advanced to prevent decisions about changes to land use immediately adjacent to newly developed and inhabited residential areas.

In Amaroo people live across the road from an area that they originally expected would be urban open space. Because of the defined land provision, that was changed to a schools and playing fields precinct. It was also changed to take account of the need for a group centre. Those changes were entirely within the law.

It is very disappointing that residents purchased their blocks on an understanding that the area was to be used for one purpose, when in fact the planning law, the Territory Plan, made provision for land use policy to be subject to change through the defined land provision. The planning for that area should have been fully resolved before residential development in the adjacent area started. In that way decisions about changing the land use policy could have occurred without any impact on residents.

In Labor's view, this all comes down to the simple matter of planning land release far enough in advance so that the specific issues dealing with detailed design of subdivision, roads and engineering works are finalised before you allow residents to move in next door. That is the issue Ms Tucker is trying to address, but the way she is trying to address it, as Mr Kaine says, uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

If the defined land provision is changed in the way Ms Tucker is proposing this evening, as the minister outlined, we will have to clearly set out the land use policy for all of Gungahlin and any other greenfield sites up front. At the very beginning, any change, no matter how minor, will have to be subject to a Territory Plan variation, even though there may be no-one living within kilometres and even though there may be new environmental issues or engineering issues that need to be addressed. We will have to come back to this place and vary the Territory Plan. That is a lengthy process that should not be required in the instances Ms Tucker is trying to address.

The Labor Party will not be supporting the bill. We have made clear our concern about the government's management of the defined land provision, but we believe that the weakness is in the management, not in the provisions of the legislation.


(9.57), in reply: Clearly we do not have support for this bill. Labor and Liberal argue for flexibility. I guess that falls on the ears of the people at Amaroo with some disappointment. Those people bought their land and houses thinking they would

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