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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 91 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

It is also proposed that the high-quality sustainable design pre-application process for replacement houses in suburban areas introduced through draft variation 200 be minimised. To assist with this, Planning and Land Management set up yesterday a design advisory service, based at the recovery centre in Lyons, where householders can not only seek advice on the technical requirements they will need to adhere to in rebuilding, but also receive free advice from an architect, supplied courtesy of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, in relation to potential design.

Our emphasis is on giving the necessary technical information as well as on encouraging people who choose to rebuild to rebuild in a way which meets their needs but which is also more energy efficient and takes account of fire protection requirements and a range of other issues. The government's approach is absolutely collaborative. It is based on getting the best possible information in the most timely way so that people who lost their homes can make appropriate decisions that suit them and their families.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, in your answer to my question you talked about significant variation. Can you quantify or define "significant"?

MR CORBELL: For example, if someone had a single-storey dwelling and they wished to build a two-storey dwelling, or if they wanted to increase the total floor area, those would be significant changes. As with any development application, there is a level of discretion, and PALM staff will be working closely with people seeking approval to rebuild, to make sure that the process is as streamlined as it can be to enable them to rebuild in a timely way.


MR CORNWELL: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, can you advise how much of the ACT government asset losses and unforeseen expenditure caused by the recent bushfires will not be covered by insurance?

MR QUINLAN: I guess the short answer is "not with certainty", because we will have the normal interface that one has with an insurer about the various assets we have. I have asked my department to look further at the damage we have sustained and where it begins and ends. We can talk, on the one hand, about concrete or firm individual assets. On the other hand, there is the whole amenity of the city. As I said on radio this morning, I live in Weston. The Cotter Road median strip between the Tuggeranong Parkway and Stretton Drive had nice landscaping that was wiped out. Whether that is covered or not, and what the expenditures will be in putting the city back in the shape it was in before the fire, is going to be very difficult to measure.

The other dimension of how much we are covered is that under the natural disaster recovery arrangements between the Commonwealth and states, after we have spent about $4.5 million on recovery, the Commonwealth will weigh in on a dollar-for-dollar basis, and once we get to a little over $8 million they will weigh in on a three-for-one basis.

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