Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2612 ..
This legislation creates three major new tools to assist compliance with planning regulations. The first is allowing the new Planning and Land Authority to make orders on its own behalf. Currently, in order to enforce planning laws, officers may respond only to applications from individual residents or make applications for orders as private citizens.
The ability of the Planning and Land Authority to make orders on its own behalf will make it more responsive to enforcement issues. Equally, the new ability to issue a prohibition notice will allow the authority to act quickly to stop any work or actions contrary to planning regulations. The ability to order rectification work and, where necessary, carry out rectification work at the owner's expense means that inaction or resistance by infringers will be able to be adequately addressed.
I have a number of amendments to this bill which go to the independence of the Planning and Land Authority. Part of this whole exercise was to give the authority the ability to work effectively in an orderly administrative manner.
This bill has been drafted in a way which means that, by allowing them to be implemented by both the executive and the authority, the powers are duplicated. This crossover of jurisdictions is not in the interests of efficiency-it goes against the principle of creating an independent planning authority. I will speak briefly to the amendments during the detail stage, so they make sense when we are going through them.
Finally, this bill deals with the issue of minor encroachments over public land. I want to make it clear that the Planning and Land Authority should be attempting to ensure that encroachments over public land are minimised in the construction of new buildings.
The incidence of accidents when major developments slightly overhang public land or roads, because of small mistakes in construction, should remain as infrequent as possible. However, when accidents do occur-I use the example of the James Court apartments, where the building overhangs the road reserve by a few millimetres-the Planning and Land Authority clearly needs a less cumbersome method of addressing the issue. This will provide one such a solution and, to me, that seems relatively effective. I will speak further on this during the detail stage. With our amendments, the Democrats will be supporting this bill.
MS TUCKER(5.42): This bill seeks to provide the government with the powers for a new regime of sanctions or penalties, to be applied where a leaseholder is in contravention of lease conditions. It also provides for a more streamlined resolution of building encroachment issues.
I acknowledge that, before the election, the government undertook to enhance the planning authority's powers to enforce lease compliance, and that this followed frustration among members of the community about PALM's effectiveness, or lack thereof, in its enforcement actions. The Greens' policy also proposed increased powers and resources for this purpose.
Another aspect of this bill is that it makes it easier to resolve building encroachment issues, essentially by proving them after the event. I do not think that was in the