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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5032 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

There is a big chapter in the paper headed "Supportive planning and infrastructure". Most of this is a searing indictment of the current Minister for Planning and the failure of this government to pull him into line and make sure that planning works for the community. This government went to the election with the planning for people policy. This policy provided people with the right places to live and the right business environment so that they and their kids could get a job. Two years later the key actions in the government's white paper are about getting its planning house in order. We need to have coordination arrangements. Action 45 states:

The Government is committed to ensuring that ACTPLA operates on 'best practice' principles to deal quickly, responsively and consistently with business needs.

Again, that is not an action. It should be accepted core business for an organisation like the ACT Planning and Land Authority. If it is not core business and if we have to write specific directions, it is a failure of the planning system and the minister who presides over it. Action 43 states:

The government will establish a Central Area Development Task Force to provide focus for the revitalisation of Civic ...

This means that the government is trying to sideline the Minister for Planning because all he will do is get in its way-just as the Chief Minister has sidelined the Minister for Planning on the non-urban study. The Chief Minister retains responsibility for the non-urban study, simply because he cannot trust his Minister for Planning because he will foul it up, as he has fouled up everything that he has done.

Today we have had a complete admission of the failure of the planning system and its impact on business and our economic prosperity. This is the government's first statement of planning intent and I am sitting here thinking: what does the Minister for Planning want to do? What is his new vision? Where is he going forward?

We have had the garden city and the city beautiful and we have been strategically planning our heart out for some time. What do we have? Another admission that what has been happening with this government is that planning has fallen by the board and is costing us money. The statement of intent, on page 3, states:

The planning and development assessment system has long been a contentious issue for our community.

Darn tootin'-especially under this government. The statement continues:

The Government believes it should be reformed. A clearer and more time responsive system needs to be established for the making and administration of planning and development policy, including simplifying and clarifying not only the steps involved in the decision making processes, but also the system's expectations of proponents and members of the community who participate in it.

It is about time that the minister woke up to the fact that the community is absolutely fed up to the back teeth with the government's obfuscation.

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