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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2147 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

changed-as I have already said-given what has happened to Forde, Bonner and O'Malley. The government is keen to make plans around sustainability and preservation and wrings its hands about the tough decisions it has to make. But has the behaviour changed appreciably?

Returning to defined land, I once introduced a private member's bill to remove this provision from the land act but did not receive support from the other parties. Seeking, through these regulations, to exempt defined land variations from the scrutiny of the council would only add to the lack of transparency and potential for abuse. We are not willing to support that, and we would be interested to hear the government's arguments for such an exemption, given its commitment to transparency in decision making. We will move to amend clause 4 of the regulations by deleting this defined land exception and this should allow for some scrutiny at least by the council-and by the public through the council's minutes being made public.

We will also seek to amend clause 5, which relates to the contents of land agency business plans. We will propose adding two new subclauses for the information that is prescribed. The first would require a statement of the ecological and social impact of proposed land sales for developments, and the second would require a statement explaining how the land agency plans to contribute to affordable housing through its programs. This is certainly in keeping with the minister's stated aims for the agency, as set out in his budget press release of 6 May, and with the government's stated commitment to affordable housing, sustainability and triple bottom line reporting.

There is a great opportunity for public benefit to be achieved through government development of land, and we do support this from the government and give them credit for it. We would not like to see this great opportunity missed, though, through too great a focus on purely commercial considerations.

In conclusion, we support these final legislative provisions for the new planning and land development framework, and we look forward to refining the regulations. We will take a keen interest in monitoring how the system works and the benefits it delivers to the community. If we see convincing evidence of a need for further change to the system, we will certainly work to bring about changes to improve it.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Detail stage

Clause 1.


(Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (3.55): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 2161]. Rather than speak to this amendment and each of the others, I will make a brief statement that addresses them all. These amendments to the bill address a number of more minor matters that have been identified as requiring attention following the introduction of the bill.

They may be summarised as follows. Section 56 of the Planning and Land Act is amended to extend the power of the Land Development Agency to delegate its functions.

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