Page 1966 - Week 06 - Friday, 6 May 2005

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If left unchecked, this could force down the retirement age and decrease the number of older Australians active in our work force.

Dwarfing the financial costs are the costs of suffering a premature death from CVD, which were valued at a massive $94 billion in 2004. CVD impacts on two out of three Australian families. As some of you know, at the age of 16 I lost my father to a massive heart attack. My father, Allan, was only 61 when he died and it was hard growing up without him. A lot of stress was placed on my mother, my brother and me. He missed my wedding, my brother’s wedding and, of course, the chance to get to know his grandchild. I would love to have been able to share my current experiences—and, in fact, all of my experiences with him. I never got to experience my father with me as an adult, and am unable to ask for his advice on anything I do as an adult.

Fortunately, the ACT government is taking steps to address CVD in our community through initiatives such as promoting healthy students, college health coordinators and the kids at play program. ACT Health’s eat well ACT, a public health nutrition plan launched in September 2004, provides a strategy to improve the dietary health of all Canberrans. Healthpact also does great work in the area of health promotion, particularly through events such as the Healthpact Australian Masters Games and the health promotion awards, which will be held tonight.

Finally, a very big thank you goes to everyone who attended my annual healthy red breakfast this morning and wore red. This is the third year I have hosted the breakfast, and it seems to be growing bigger every year. It was wonderful to see so many people from the Heart Foundation and the Assembly attend. Thanks go especially to Lisa Brill for all her hard work in organising it. So far we have raised about $120, which will all go to the Heart Foundation. If you were not able to make it, we still have muffins left!

Development applications

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (11.21): Yesterday the planning minister presented the Auditor-General’s report into the development application and approval process. I am still making my way through that. I wanted to highlight a few of the points that have come out of it so far. There are some significant issues raised by the Auditor-General in relation to the development application process. I want to take the Assembly through some of the key recommendations, or certainly the key findings.

They include that the DA process is not well integrated across various agencies; referrals to other agencies do not occur in a consistent manner; much of the assessment process is not well documented; quality control for document management was poor, especially with hard copy files; many DA decisions did not meet statutory timeframes; the time taken for a large number of single residential DAs took 60 days, when the statutory timeframe is 30 days; many exceeded 100 working days; performance against statutory timeframes in some cases may be inappropriately enhanced by procedures such as asking the applicant, close to the statutory due date, to apply for an extension of time; and pre-application processes can be very time consuming.

In relation to consistency with guidelines and legislation, the Auditor-General found that data provided by the authority shows an average of 14 per cent of single residential DAs and 28 per cent of non-single residential DAs failed to meet statutory timeframes during

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