Page 177 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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a position of chief planner. A number of ministerial powers relating to development applications in particular were transferred to the new authority.

We have also established a new strategic direction for the growth and development of the city over the next 30 years, through the Canberra spatial plan, and we have identified opportunities for infill development as part of a contemporary vision for the sustainable development of the city. In doing so, we have also taken steps to protect the garden city character of Canberra by limiting ad hoc development within the suburbs.

As I foreshadowed, Mr Speaker, in my statement of planning intent, which was tabled in the Assembly in December last year, the government will continue the reform agenda by making the development assessment system more efficient and manageable. It will limit the requirement for preliminary assessments in Civic, the town centres and relevant areas of the central national area.

Streamlining the planning system has already started, with a thorough examination of the existing legislation, policies, processes and the structure and format of the territory plan. We will be comparing the ACT system against other jurisdictions in Australia and the National Development Assessment Forum DA model, often known as the DAF.

Other specific initiatives include renewing and expanding the exemption of the change of use charge for targeted redevelopment activity in Civic, town centres and public transport corridors to encourage redevelopment and ensure the revitalisation of these areas. We will move to require all new single-residential dwellings to meet five-star energy efficiency standards and minimum standards for water efficiency, and commercial development has to satisfy a range of sustainability measures.

We will establish new standards for water sensitive urban design in greenfield land development. The government committed, through its election commitments, an additional $50,000 to undertake this work. We will be establishing a Chief Minister’s prize for excellence in design, and again our commitment is $50,000 for this purpose. And we will provide $50,000 to the establishment of the Canberra biennale, which will provide a national forum to promote design and architecture in Australia, right here in the nation’s capital.

We will be looking at reforming the ACT’s planning and land administration system. This has been identified as a priority for Labor and it will be the number one priority for me as planning minister during this term of government. A planning and development system cannot be successful unless it is capable of providing relative certainty, appropriate levels of flexibility, consistency and timeliness. While very significant progress has been made in reforming the overarching governance arrangements for the ACT, it is clear that there is still an unnecessary level of complexity, specificity, duplication and open-endedness in the development assessment process.

In conducting the review, we are taking account of the work that has been undertaken elsewhere in Australia to achieve more efficient, timelier and more user-friendly planning tools. This includes the work of the Development Assessment Forum and its leading practice model for development assessment, which has a particular role to play in our consideration of a single and integrated development process. The government will

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