Page 3213 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005
be some controls. As I said, my colleagues on the committee, Mr Gentleman and Ms Porter, and I unanimously agreed that there should be some controls and we responded to some of the concerns of Deakin residents. I think that it is important that Mr Corbell do the same.
My other concern in this regard is in relation to the lack of consultation with the NCA. From talking to the NCA about it, there has been no approach from the ACT government on this issue. So I do not quite know what is the ACT government’s position. As I said, they have said that they backed the seven storeys; Mr Corbell said that. They have proposed this draft variation specifically so they can go ahead in the knowledge that the NCA will need to change things, but they have done nothing about it. I look forward to Mr Corbell letting us know exactly what the government’s position will be as to how the territory law operates in relation to the NCA. That is of particular concern.
We are supporting this disallowance motion because we think that ACTPLA and the minister need to go away and have a think about what we actually want for this site. The minister said seven storeys. The minister is proposing that we just hand over control of any height restrictions completely to the NCA, whereas that is just not the case. I am sure that the minister will get up and argue that it would be inconsistent with the national capital plan.
That is just not the case. If the national capital plan has a maximum height limit and the territory plan has a maximum height limit that is somewhere below the other one, that would not be inconsistent. They could still apply. They could sit side by side and those controls at territory level, on behalf of the people of the territory, could be put in place. But the draft variation, as it stands, does not do that and does not contemplate that. In addition, there has been no consultation with the NCA.
The whole thing is a bit of a mess-up and it leaves everyone without any certainty. It leaves the proponent without any certainty; it leaves Deakin residents without any certainty; and it leaves the wider community without any certainty as to what might happen, and it puts things fairly and squarely in the control of the NCA. This government has consistently said that the ACT should have more control over planning issues in the territory and the NCA should have less. I do not completely disagree with that position.
I think there is a place for the territory and for the people of the territory to have more of a say in how the city is planned. I think the NCA will continue to play an important role. But I think that it is incumbent upon the ACT government to talk to the NCA about some of these issues where there is a crossover of jurisdiction. It seems that there has not been any real communication between the ACT government and the NCA on this issue.
I do not quite understand where the minister is coming from, but I am concerned that he is not proposing any restrictions, being aware that the NCA was planning to review its polices. I understand that it is not going to at the moment, but I imagine that at some stage there will be an approach, either from the ACT government or from the proponent, for the NCA to review that. I would have thought that these discussions would have been well at hand and that the ACT government could have worked with the NCA.
Mr Corbell has said in the newspapers in response to this matter that the ACT government does not control height. That is not completely true. The ACT government