Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4468 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
I do not think that was appropriate. I agree that government should not be getting into the entrepreneurial side of development and commercial activities such as a country club. I would be concerned if the government did that. I do not think Mr Corbell intends to do that. But I think that distinction needs to be made. It is not just a residential development.
Mrs Dunne says that, from her experience, this sort of government activity is a dismal failure. Having been in the Assembly since 1995, I have watched two Liberal governments handle planning. I feel that what they did was a dismal failure. That is why I think a lot of people changed their vote in the last election. Planning was a significant issue.
Mrs Dunne also said that taxpayers will be carrying the burden of what she predicts will be a failure. My point is that the ACT community will be carrying for a long time to come the burden of poor planning decisions over the last seven years. In the last seven years, the period I have been closely involved with planning, developments have resulted in dwellings which are primitive for the climate in which we live. They have not addressed affordability issues. Mrs Dunne said that with what the Labor government is doing houses would be out of the reach of workers. I cannot believe Mrs Dunne said that. We know that the affordability of housing in the ACT is a serious problem. For seven years the Liberals had responsibility for ensuring affordability. Claims that this is going to be the end of the world as we know it are not convincing, because I am so unimpressed with what Liberal governments did in this area over seven years.
MS DUNDAS (8.02): The Democrats will not be supporting this amendment either. While I did not support Mrs Dunne's similar amendment in respect of the Planning and Land Authority, I could see the arguments for it. But I cannot see how that same reasoning applies to the land agency. The land agency will function in a similar way to a territory-owned corporation. The provision Mrs Dunne is suggesting is unlike any arrangement for any other revenue-raising arm of government.
The land agency does not require the same level of independence from government as the Planning and Land Authority does. I believe it will be closely tied to budgetary decisions of the government and hence open to the same scrutiny process as the budget. Therefore, this extra level of scrutiny is not appropriate for the land agency.
MRS DUNNE (8.03): I hear what members are saying, but the fundamental notion we fail to grasp is that because you drive the bulldozers, determine where the roads are and lay out the kerbing and guttering you are the people who provide the great planning outcomes.
I hear everything Ms Tucker says about the failures of planning in the past. I wholeheartedly agree with her. Canberra has a proud history of planning. Since self-government, planning has become run down. We do not have housing appropriate to our climate or housing choices that mean that honest everyday working men and women-people with a trade, people who work in shops-can afford to buy a house that is inexpensive to run and gives them a good quality of life. This is a failure of the planning system. It is sheeted home to all of us here and our predecessors in this place.