Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4473 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
What the minister has done is ratchet back the reporting date by one year. The advice of the Planning and Environment Committee was that this bill should be reviewed in 2005. This is a substantial piece of legislation and a three-year period is usual for reviews of this kind. Seeing that this will have quite an impact on many aspects of life in the ACT, it is important that, as always, we keep a close eye of what is happening. The legislation will have been bedded down and there will be many opportunities, dare I say it, for things to go wrong with this. We should have the earliest possible opportunity to set things right if things do go wrong. That is why the Planning and Environment Committee recommended, in the first instance, that this legislation be reviewed by December 2005.
MS DUNDAS (8.27): While this is, some might say, a small debate, it is still an important one. We are completely changing the way planning operates in the ACT. As I have consistently said throughout this debate, we will need to watch this new program closely to see how it is operating and whether its outcomes are going to be effective.
The original bill said that the operation and effectiveness of this act must be reviewed as soon as practical after 31 December 2007. Minister Corbell, in his amendment, has brought the review's commencement date back to not later than 31 December 2006. We now have the photocopied and circulated amendment from Mrs Dunne that brings that back to commencing not later than 2005.
I will be supporting Mrs Dunne's amendment to bring this back to 2005, with the minister's amendment that the review must begin no later than 31 December, at the end of the year. It is quite likely that we will not be seeing the report for six months after the review, which will be, with the minister's amendment, July 2007, which is still a substantial four years after commencement. I would like to bring that back to 2005, so that we would be getting the report around mid-2006, and hence will be supporting Mrs Dunne's amendment.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (8.29): Mr Speaker, the government will not be supporting Mrs Dunne's amendment. Obviously, we have a preferred date. However, I think the point needs to be made that Mrs Dunne's amendment is effectively only allowing for 21/2 years of full operation of the Planning and Land Authority and the Land Development Agency before the whole act is reviewed. I do not think that is a reasonable period of time.
Ms Tucker made the appropriate point that it really will take the second half of next year for the agencies to become well established and to be operating at full tilt. If the Assembly accepts Mrs Dunne's amendment, that means there will be only 21/2 years before we review the whole lot. I do not think that is a reasonable period of time. The government's amendment allows for a full three years of operation before review.
It is also important to take into account that the government is already proposing a review of the land act to commence next year. That is going to take a whole year effectively, with an exposure draft expected sometime in 2004. Given that, I think it is important that the Assembly appreciates that the new organisations should operate for a reasonable period before there is a review.
Mrs Dunne's amendment negatived.