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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 August 2005) . . Page.. 3049 ..

that is, ACTPLA—

in dealing with these matters.

Minister, what are you doing to prevent more people who deal with ACTPLA from being misled?

MR CORBELL: Mr Seselja’s question highlights the fact that we have, in the land act, an extremely complicated, convoluted and difficult piece of legislation to administer. That has caused significant issues for the planning agency under its various guises over time. It is for that reason that the government is putting in place the planning reform project. It is designed to simplify the administration of the land act, designed to make it simpler, faster and more effective for the planning system to be administered, focusing very strongly on simple applications being able to be dealt with in a timely and straightforward way, in some instance without any requirement whatsoever for development approval. Mr Speaker, that is the approach that the government is committed to implementing.

The consultation process on planning reform has been completed—the first stage of consultation. We have seen a very significant number of submissions made to that consultation process and I thank all of those members of the community—professional bodies, industry bodies and individuals—for making that contribution. Overwhelmingly, the feedback from the public consultation process to the government has been to say, “This is the right direction. Your proposals are the proposals that we want to see for a simpler, faster and more effective planning system.”

The challenge now for the government is to synthesise and collate all of those comments, bring them together and then release those and release the way forward in the form of a draft bill for a new land act. That is the approach to which the government is committed and upon which it has embarked, one which has never been done since self-government and which is without a doubt the most significant reform of planning and leasehold administration since self-government. That is the approach that I and the government are committed to adopting in addressing these issues around the effectiveness of the land act and addressing the complexity and difficulty in administering the land act that we have had to date.

MR SESELJA: I have a supplementary question. Minister, given that these changes will not come into force for some time, how many other people will suffer from ACTPLA’s lack of a good understanding of the legislation that it administers?

MR CORBELL: Mr Seselja is simply wrong. He is wrong because some of these changes are actually being made right now. Certainly, significant legislative change is required. At the same time, Mr Speaker, the Planning and Land Authority is already embarking upon system change, organisational and leadership change within the organisation, to make sure that some of the more specific issues that are raised by industry groups and by individuals are able to be addressed if they do not require legislative change.

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