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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3749 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The committee has also raised the issue of the experience and qualifications expected of a chief planning executive. In response, the government is proposing that the experience and qualifications expected of a chief planning executive will be expanded, by amendment to the bill, to state that the person must have experience and expertise necessary to perform the functions of the position. Those functions are, in fact, the functions of the Planning and Land Authority, as stated in clause 8 of the bill.

As to making public advice from the Planning and Land Council to the minister on the use of the call-in powers, it is proposed to amend the bill to require that that advice be notified publicly. Where an Assembly committee is examining a matter that the council has advised on, that advice will also be made available to the committee. In saying this, I note that Assembly committees are, in any case, in a position to seek relevant background information on matters under consideration.

Regarding the availability of internal guidelines and procedure manuals developed by the authority or Land Development Agency, the government agrees that those should be made available for inspection.

The government proposes to include the field of engineering as an additional criterion to the areas of expertise relevant to the appointment of members of the council and the land agency board. This would cover construction, as recommended by the committee.

The committee recommended that a review of community participation in the proposed planning instructions be undertaken. The government agrees that this will be part of the new authority's responsibilities and will include a review of the role of the newly established Planning and Development Forum.

In all, the government's response to the committee's report reflects the importance we place on it, and on the consultative and advisory role of the committee. Of course, the government will continue to pursue its policy objectives and will sometimes disagree with a recommendation that compromises those objectives. In this case, I think we can see there have been many areas in which the government can see the benefit of accepting the recommendations.

For that reason, as I have said, the government is appreciative of the committee's contribution to the process. I wholeheartedly repeat my earlier thanks to the committee members and contributors to the inquiry.

MRS DUNNE (4.15): Just briefly, I thank the minister for his comments, and for his decisions to come part of the way on some of the important issues here. By way of seeking clarification, I notice that recommendations 18 and 19 have been conflated, and there is no comment on recommendation 18. I think that is probably an administrative oversight but, before we get to the debate, it might be nice if the government could make comment on that.

Debate (on motion by Mr Cornwell ) adjourned to the next sitting.

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