Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2143 ..
MS DUNDAS: Mr Speaker, the day is moving faster than I anticipated, and I seek leave to speak on the in-principle debate.
MS DUNDAS: I would like to put on the record that the Democrats will be supporting the Planning and Land Legislation Amendment Bill 2003, as presented by the Minister for Planning. This bill primarily repeals the Kingston Foreshore Development Authority and the Gungahlin Development Authority and corrects a number of minor issues in relation to the Planning and Land Act passed in the Assembly last year.
The merger of the Kingston Foreshore Development Authority and the GDA into the new land agency was foreshadowed at the time the planning and land bill was being discussed by this Assembly. The ACT Democrats support this amalgamation into a single body. This is part of the ACT government's move to comprehensively control the development of land in the ACT, and we support that. It makes sense to have all of the bodies that are involved in ACT land development working together under one agency.
The ACT Democrats support the introduction of public land development. A public land developer has the ability to take greater account of the social and environmental benefits of development. This amalgamation will assist in integrating the roles of existing development authorities into the new land agency. However, care must be taken not to disrupt the current functioning of these authorities, with a continuation of the on-ground staff being particularly important.
The Kingston Foreshore Development Authority is focused on a specific development project. While there has been some disagreement about the design of some elements of the Kingston Foreshore, disruption to staff and the authority would not be in anyone's interest. The land agency must be careful in its management of this merger. With regard to the amendments that I understand the government is making today, we have had a briefing on those and have not been made aware of any objections to the minor alterations that they make.
MS TUCKER: I seek leave to make more general comments on the in-principle stage of this bill.
MS TUCKER: The Greens will be supporting this bill, in keeping with our earlier support for the government's promised reforms to planning and land development. This is primarily a machinery bill that repeals the Kingston Foreshore Development Authority Act and the Gungahlin Development Authority Act to create a single Land Development Agency. It follows from the Planning and Land Act 2002 and the Planning and Land (Consequential Amendments) Act 2002, which the Greens also supported.
We supported the return of land development activities to government so that it could be adequately controlled and so that the government kept the return from the development of the ACT's major asset. We opposed the earlier Liberal government's abandonment of