Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4479 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
amendment on this, which I will speak to then. I certainly am happy to support Ms Dundas' amendment but, as I said, I am not expecting it to get up.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (8.54): Mr Speaker, as members would have anticipated, the government will not be supporting this amendment. I want to first address this amendment by highlighting to members the Labor Party's policy position, as announced before the last election, in relation to the exercise of the ministerial call-in power. Ms Dundas has asserted that we have somehow changed our mind-that we were critical of the use of the call-in in opposition to the extent that we perhaps said we would not do it, and then the government is doing it.
I would like to just read out for the benefit of members an extract from the ALP's planning policy from the last election, Planning for People. In the section headed "Accountability for the ministerial call-in power", it reads:
The Liberals' abuse of the call in power has caused widespread concern in the Canberra community. The current Minister for Urban Services has argued that the use of a call in power should be viewed as a normal part of the development approval process. Labor disagrees. Labor will retain the call in power but believes it should only be considered for use in exceptional circumstances for issues of Territory-wide significance.
Labor will be guided by the following principles in determining the exercise of the power.
Is the development application of Territory-wide significance in social, planning, environmental or economic terms?
Is there sufficient evidence to substantiate this significance?
Are there significant objections to the proposal which warrant the application being addressed through the normal development application process?
What are the costs and benefits to the Canberra community of exercising the call in power for the development application?
Labor also commits to making all documentation relating to the exercise of the call in power publicly available if the power is exercised.
So, contrary to the assertion by Ms Dundas, Labor always indicated-in fact, indicated in writing before the last election-that we would retain the power and we would set out the principles we would be guided by in determining whether or not the power should be exercised.
That is what this government has done. As minister, I have exercised the call-in power on two occasions-once in relation to the Kingston Foreshore Development and once in relation to the development of an apartment building on Northbourne Avenue called The Space. Both of those decisions were made entirely consistently with the principles set out in the Labor Party's policy document.