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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 708 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

On Tuesday, 19 March I will be meeting with all members of all LAPACs across Canberra to discuss the current and future role of LAPACs in the context of the new neighbourhood planning program. I anticipate also to be in a position shortly to announce the full implementation details for the neighbourhood planning process and how it is going to work in those first five suburbs. But we are doing that based on the direct input of people who are affected by these planning processes. So there will be no more simply laying it out as a fait accompli, like the previous administration did. Instead, we will be putting together a collaborative process, engaging people directly in that decision-making process, and then rolling out a program which has clear time frames and which will deliver certainty for everyone who lives in our suburbs.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, what benefits will the plans have for the residents and the industry stakeholders?

MR CORBELL: As I have indicated already, they will deliver a higher level of certainty than we have seen before in the planning process. I believe that this government is embarking on a neighbourhood planning process which is a genuine and very much grass roots mechanism to engage people who are directly affected by planning decisions.

Once in place, neighbourhood plans will allow for more streamlined development approval processes for those who comply with the plans. That is a clear policy objective-something that those opposite failed to deliver; something that we are committed to achieving. These plans will identify areas for urban consolidation so that we can achieve a more sustainable city, but again within a strategic framework. So identifying areas such as those around local centres and along transport routes will also be key elements of neighbourhood plans.

But most importantly, they will also ensure that there is no longer a policy position in this city that simply allows ad hoc development activity-the wholesale changing of suburbs that we saw under Mr Smyth when he was the minister, with dual occupancy and triple occupancy development, resulting in the removal of significant trees and neighbours' yards being inappropriately overlooked by people's bathroom windows, which were in some instances only one or two metres away from their side fence. We are seeking to address and change this sort of completely inappropriate ad hoc development activity.

We do need growth and development in the city; we do need to allow for changing household types; and we do need to allow for changing household size, ageing of the population and a range of other factors. But we need to do it in a strategic way. We should not simply take the view that the market will regulate itself on these matters. We have to take a far more active approach, and that is what neighbourhood planning is about. I think the benefits will be very clear for residents and for industry as the program rolls out.

MR SPEAKER: Before I call Mr Cornwell, I might say that a moment ago when Mr Stefaniak was ordered to resume his seat I heard him say, "You don't want to hear the truth." That implies that he was sat down because I did not want to hear what he had to say, rather than for the real reason that he had breached the standing orders. I regard that as a reflection on the chair. I wonder whether you would be gracious enough to withdraw that.

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