Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2476 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
There is also the whole question of appeal rights, which the government has said they will revamp but, as I understand it, they have not yet come up with a proposal. That is a really important issue. The community must have confidence in any appeal mechanisms the government puts up. Clearly, that is a very important accountability measure.
Another process issue raised by constituents concerning the new authority is the question of the role of the community in the proposed advisory council. There seem to be concerns that that is an expert committee rather than a community committee. There are, once again, some concerns about how the community can contribute to decisions of the new authority. That could also be looked at if a committee is set up.
The other aspect of the garden city variation I would like to touch on is the quality of developments. Design quality should be given greater emphasis than it was given by the previous government. I have not yet seen evidence which gives me a lot of confidence that there will be adequate emphasis put on it by this government.
That is obviously related to environmental concerns that development is our best practice. We see solar passive buildings, there is water sensitive urban development, and socially innovative and appropriate development. There is also equitable social development, which brings in the whole question of social housing and the mix of housing.
That has come up in my consultation around the garden city variation as well. There is a concern that it could be quite elitist and inequitable. We know, from the government, that they are interested in looking at affordable housing opportunities-and they have set up a task force. That definitely needs to be integrated into any planning.
As to best practice design, sometimes the argument is put that that is inconsistent with what I have just asked for-socially inclusive housing opportunities around the centres and in these new developments-because it drives up the prices. However, that is only if you take a short-term view of price. If you look at life cycle, it is cheaper to make dwellings energy efficient and so on. Obviously, that is understood by people here. It is about getting that moved into the market as well-and that is definitely a role of government. It is something from which people who live in the Canberra community will benefit-not just now but into the future. It is too easy for people to develop areas for short-term gain and then move on, and leave communities with the results of those developments. That is why government has a very important role in taking the longer-term view when establishing a framework for redevelopment-or, in fact, for any development.
Those are all the points I want to cover today in this matter of public importance. I think it is a discussion that will continue. As I said, we certainly are interested in seeing how it works in practice. I believe there needs to be flexibility, so we can see what happens and also get clarification on a number of the issues I have raised which are not yet clear.
MR CORBELL(Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.41): Mr Deputy Speaker, I am very pleased that Ms Gallagher has proposed this matter of public importance today. I am pleased because, only 12 months ago, there was an extensive and wide-ranging debate in