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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2614 ..



pursuing a legitimate aesthetic practice on their land, different from those adopted and approved of by their neighbours-for example a permacultural garden, as opposed to manicured, high water usage lawns-or an innovative energy-efficient owner-built home that does not look the same as the perhaps less inspiring normal brick and tile houses around it.

I expect no-one knows better than PALM compliance officers how murky and difficult the world of neighbourhood disputes can be, where one person's idea of what is reasonable comes into stark conflict with that of another.

Acceptable community standards are subjective and, as time passes, they change. I trust the authority's officers are sensitive to the breadth of our community standards and the changes occurring, given that there are no written standards on what constitutes excessive vegetation or the satisfactory appearance of a block. This too is based on the reasonable person test and how it is applied-firstly by the officer representing the authority and then, if an order is challenged, by the AAT.

I hope this legislation does provide a better kit of tools for compliance officers to work with and that they find them useful in bringing about, to the greatest extent possible, amicable and satisfactory resolutions to these difficult problems. Nevertheless, I will be watching with interest how they are interpreted.


(Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (5.48), in reply: I thank members for their support for this legislation. As members have pointed out, it is timely-in fact, it is more than timely. We need an improved regime to address matters of compliance in relation to breaches, or potential breaches, of leases. We also need to address the issue of encroachments.

This bill addresses both of those matters, and I thank members for their support. I foreshadow that the government will be circulating the amendments to which members have referred. The government will also be supporting the amendment moved by Ms Dundas. It is a reasonable provision. I will say more about that in the detail stage. I would also like to table, for the information of members, a revised explanatory statement to the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 7, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 8.


(5.50): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 4 at page 2670].

This amendment removes the ability of the executive to make an order under the land act on its own initiative. The intent of this amendment is similar to that of the other

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