Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3261 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
Minor amendments may be of minor concern to Mr Cornwell and others in the Liberal Party, but for those people who are living next door to buildings that overshadow their block or reduce their privacy, they are clearly a major issue. I am very disappointed that Mr Corbell will not be supporting fully the amendments that we have produced today. I am not particularly surprised by the Liberal Party's response.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Detail stageClauses 1 to 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.57): As I have indicated, the government will not be supporting clause 4. Paragraph 247 (2) (c) of the land act currently contains a requirement that there be no significant increase in detriment to any person. Ms Tucker proposes to amend that to provide that there be no increase in detriment to any person.
That provision of the land act was drafted with the intent of making clear the position that, while it can be argued that any amendment to an approval is likely to have some effect, however small, on a person, the amendment may be made if that effect would not be substantial or significant. For example, an amendment may involve only a very small change to the location of a window that would not be seen from an adjoining property. That is an example of a minor amendment that would not have any significant or substantial impact on the neighbours.
It is most important that the paragraph be read in conjunction with the other criteria for deciding to approve an amendment. The approving authority must be satisfied of the nature of the amendment. In other words, the provision recognises that, where any decision is to be made involving threshold criteria, judgment must be exercised by the relevant officer.
In addition to the requirement that there would be no significant increase in detriment to any person, the approving authority must also currently be satisfied that the amendment does not change the effect of any condition that applies to the approval-the conditions of the original approval cannot in any way be undermined by the minor amendment-and, secondly, the amendment does not change the kind of development approved, so the minor amendment cannot be used to change the nature of the development from, say, an extension of an existing single dwelling to, in effect, a dual occupancy under the same roof.
Mr Speaker, in most cases, it is not possible to say with absolute certainty that no person would be affected in any way by a development. In fact, it is almost certain that some person would be affected by any development activity, and that is significantly why the