Page 242 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2006

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Section 229B of the land act specifies that, if I decide an application, I must table a statement in the Assembly within three sitting days of the decision. As required by the act and for the benefit of members, I have tabled statements in respect of these two decisions. These provide a description of the developments, details of land where the developments are proposed to take place, the names of the applicants, the details of my decision and the grounds for the decision. With the statements, I have also tabled the comments of the ACT Planning and Land Council on these matters.

In conclusion, I want to briefly summarise the use of the ministerial call-in power over the four-year period so far of the Stanhope government. The power has been exercised 15 times in that period. The majority of these have been in relation to development proposals in the city. They have been for the Metropolitan building on section 6 City; new commonwealth offices on section 88 City; the QIC development on section 84 City; new student accommodation for the Australian National University at section 30 City; another QIC development, more commonwealth offices, on section 89 City and the Acton Hotel redevelopment on section 24 City. Of the remainder, part of the Kingston Foreshore development was called in to enable this major first stage of the Kingston Foreshore project to proceed. There was also call-in of two separate developments for the Space residential developments in Turner, which were consistent with the territory plan and the Northbourne Avenue planning guidelines.

The other residential related call-in allowed the fast tracking of new ACT Housing properties in Duffy that were destroyed in the 2003 bushfires. I have also made call-in decisions relating to the Big W and Coles developments in Gungahlin, which avoided unnecessary delays and allowed these to proceed as a critical part of the Gungahlin Town Centre’s development. Finally, I have exercised the call-in power relating to two aged care developments in Bruce and Ainslie, which will provide much needed accommodation for older people in our community.

The government and I have maintained a consistent line with the exercise of the call-in power in relation to commercial development proposals where objections have essentially been on commercial grounds and where there is no basis for appeal in terms of loss of amenity, inconsistency with the territory plan or that the proposal does not contribute significantly to the benefit of the territory. As part of the planning system reforms the government is currently working through, I would like to foreshadow now that I will be proposing that there be no appeal rights in respect of such commercial development proposals.

In conclusion, the government has been clear and transparent in its exercise of the power, including the tabling of all relevant information, including the reasons for each, advice received from the independent Planning and Land Council, as required by the relevant legislation. The government has met its legislative requirements on each occasion that the call in power has been exercised.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (15.55): I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the papers tabled by the Minister for Planning regarding to the call-in of the prison project and the former Acton Hotel site.

Leave not granted.

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