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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4162 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

In a small jurisdiction such as the ACT, we have the opportunity to build a contemporary model. It does not have to be a model such as those in other jurisdictions. We are small and so it is difficult to justify having a great multitude of separate agencies, authorities and so on. To suggest that, in a jurisdiction the size of the ACT, we should have both a planning and land authority and a planning department, I think is really an attempt by the Liberals to maintain the status quo, where we have a planning authority vested in one person, the executive director of PALM, and we have PALM as a unit of the Department of Urban Services.

That approach has not worked. It is the rationale behind the establishment of the new planning approach. That is one of the reasons the government is committed to the establishment of a new planning and land authority. Indeed, to try to argue that certain planning functions should be outside of the role of the Planning and Land Authority sets the stage for a conflict between a potential new department of planning and the Planning and Land Authority. It is not the approach the government wants to see. The government would prefer to see these functions undertaken by the Planning and Land Authority, and build a contemporary model of governance that provides for both a statutory independent agency, as well as an agency that provides the necessary policy support and advice to the government and the Assembly of the day.

The government will not support this amendment. The Planning and Land Council is advisory, not governing. I have no doubt that, given the calibre of members that should be appointed to it, it will be able to exercise its functions appropriately under the model the government has proposed.

MRS CROSS (8.34): Mrs Dunne delivered her amendments to my office yesterday afternoon. I instructed my chief of staff to write to Mrs Dunne to invite her to brief me on those amendments, and I am advised that Mrs Dunne has not telephoned to make that appointment.

It would seem appropriate, at this stage, to put on the record my policy concerning support for motions and amendments in this place. As I have said several times, I will judge each amendment, bill and motion on its merits. The sole criterion I will apply is whether the matter under consideration is to the benefit of the people of Canberra. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to act in the interests of the people of Canberra if I am not properly briefed.

On the face of it, Mrs Dunne's amendments may have attracted my support. However, I regret that I cannot, in all conscience, support them when Mrs Dunne has not been able to find the time in her busy schedule to brief me on what she is attempting to do. Put simply, it would be irresponsible of me to pass laws without proper consideration.

MS TUCKER (8.35): I want to comment on some of the points made by Mrs Dunne and by the minister. I did not hear the minister respond to one point that Mrs Dunne made. She had some concerns about the fact that the council would be supported by people who may have to comply with a particular government position, as I understand it.

Mrs Dunne: No.

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