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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3258 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

be handled appropriately and should be handled in a way that allows people with any significant impact on them, potentially detrimental impact on them, to have the question and the proposal reviewed.

Mr Speaker, if passed, Ms Tucker's amendment to paragraph 247 (2) (c) would render any minor amendment capability virtually unusable. There would be no scope for making non-minor amendments. Therefore, the government will be opposing this part of the bill, not only because it would make the existing amendment system unusable, but also because it is at odds with the reconsideration provisions in the Planning and Land (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2002 which I will introduce tomorrow.

In relation to some of the other provisions of Ms Tucker's bill, subsection 247 (3) of the land act currently requires notice of a minor amendment to be given to the applicant for the amendment, the lessee and any relevant territory authority. Ms Tucker's bill inserts a new requirement that the authority give notice to any person who objected to the original approval. The amendment would improve the transparency of the development assessment system and it would be appropriate to support it. The government will be supporting it.

Mr Speaker, it should be noted that the notification requirement applies after a decision has been made on the minor amendment. It is not a notification for the purposes of seeking comment. This is consistent with the notion that what is being approved is only a minor change and objectors are being notified so that they will be aware of the conditions of the approval. It should also be noted that third parties may not appeal to the AAT against an approval of a minor amendment, but that does not preclude legal challenges in the Supreme Court under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1989.

Finally, Ms Tucker proposes to insert sunset provisions to require that the amendments do not apply to applications received before the amendments commence. The expiry of that exemption is in six months and we do not believe that it presents any serious difficulties, because most minor amendments are dealt with quickly.

Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, the government supports the principle of the bill, but will be opposing clause 4.

MRS DUNNE (5.44): The opposition will be opposing Ms Tucker's bill today for a myriad of reasons that can be brought down to the simple thing that it brings unnecessary complication into the administration of the land act over an issue which is simply a matter of replacing one single dwelling with another single dwelling.

If there is approval for there to be a single dwelling on a block and the owner chooses to pull it down and replace it with another, it seems preposterous that someone should be able to object to that, so long as it complies with the design and siting guidelines and the plot ratios. If this bill were to succeed, it would create a whole new set of problems for the planning process and the whole application of third party appeals on minor amendments, such as to create a needlessly cumbersome and bowed-down process.

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