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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2148 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The act currently provides for the agency to delegate only to its chief executive officer. The amendment will allow the agency to delegate also to its own staff.

The definition of "authority"in the Territory Plan is amended to refer to the new Planning and Land Authority rather than the Australian Capital Territory Planning Authority. Rather than going through the considerably slower planning variation process, it was decided to propose the change, together with the other amendments in this bill, since it is a purely technical amendment.

Section 25 of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988, one of the Commonwealth's self-government acts, requires the territory Planning Authority to consult with the National Capital Authority about variations to the Territory Plan. The territory authority must then report to the executive on that consultation.

The land act was amended in December 2002 to require the authority to report to the minister and not the executive, as required by the planning and land management act. Therefore this bill inserts new section 24(1A) into the land act to require the new Planning and Land Authority to report to the executive, rather than to the minister, in its consultation with the National Capital Authority.

Finally, section 21 of the Land Titles (Unit Titles) Act 1970 makes reference to the administrative unit responsible for the administration of the Unit Titles Act 2001. From 1 July 2003, that will be the Planning and Land Authority. Section 21 of the act is amended by this bill to reflect that position. Again, these amendments are purely technical, or corrective, in nature and introduce no new policy issues.


(3.58): The Liberal opposition will be opposing amendment No 1, circulated in the minister's name. I am sorry, but I have to oppose this simply because I have not had time to get across it. Yesterday afternoon the minister was kind enough to circulate four amendments to the Planning and Land Legislation Amendment Bill, which were, generally speaking, inconsequential and about which the opposition has no problem. We will be supporting it.

After the minister rose today and closed the debate, these revised amendments were circulated. It is only because we gave leave to Ms Dundas and Ms Tucker to speak after the debate had formally been closed that what was being proposed came to light. And what has been proposed, in section 56, is a significant increase in the power of delegation in the land authority.

During the inquiry of the Planning and Environment Committee into planning and land legislation last year, the committee had some concerns about the delegations within the land agency, and we discussed them at some length. In the end, we did not make any particular recommendations about it because we thought that for the most part our concerns had been addressed.

But now at this very late stage, after the formal closing of the debate, an amendment lands on our table that substantially increases the power of delegation within the land agency. Delegation is always a problem and always a difficult thing, and it is always a bit of a hard road to hoe to find the fine line there.

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