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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4475 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

about planning in the city, and that is the way it should be in a city with such a planning heritage.

However, while we may disagree on fundamental issues of planning and the outcomes that we see, we should always, as a community and an Assembly, strive to have the best possible structures and institutions to deliver the advice, guidance and regulation we need to see that our city thrives and grows into the future. I believe that the legislation we are about to vote on tonight can do that. I believe that the legislation that we are about to pass delivers a very robust structure of planning, which can outlast any particular government or, indeed, any particular political party.

That will be the real test of this legislation: when this government is no longer in office, when there is another minister for planning from some other political party, that these institutions are valued by the community, and that the community says it wants to see them retained. Fundamentally, the community will say that it wants to see them retained because it understands that the greatest quality Canberra has, which makes it attractive as a place to live, as a place to do business and as a place to visit, is the fact that it is a planned city with an exceptional built environment. That is what will continue to set this city apart and give it its competitive edge into the future.

We are not large. We cannot compete with the large cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and so on. We are not by the coast, so we do not have some of the advantages that come from living on the coastal fringe. We are inland. We are in a very dry and cold place, and it is our built environment which will set us apart. I hope that these institutions will serve our city well into the future in ensuring that it is our built environment that continues to set us apart.

In closing, I want to offer just a couple of quick words of thanks. I have done this before, but I think at this time it is important to do so again. The process for establishing this legislation commenced just over 12 months ago with the establishment of a task force headed by Ms Dorte Ekelund from PALM. She and a range of officers from PALM, and particularly the land group in the Department of Urban Services, have worked extremely hard on putting this legislation together.

Ms Ekelund, along with Mr Vic Smorhun, Mr David Snell, Mr Martin Hehir, Ms Tania Carter and Dr Brendan Gleeson from the University of Western Sydney-now I think at Griffith University in Queensland-worked extremely hard on developing this package of legislation. They have been ably assisted by a range of officers from across the ACT government. Of particular note are Ms Julie Field and Mr Ivo Astolfi of the Parliamentary Counsel's Office, who were principally involved in the drafting of this legislative package, and many other officers from right across the ACT government service.

Combined, they have produced an exceptional piece of legislation, one which is rigorous, well thought through, logical and delivers the objectives the government said it wanted to achieve if elected to government in November last year. I thank them for their professionalism and hard work and I am pleased to say that, at the end of a very long period of time, the government is implementing its commitment to a statutory independent planning and land authority, a planning and land council and a land development agency here in the ACT.

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