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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1085 ..

and lodgement of documents. Whilst this may be a useful temporary measure, I am satisfied that the bill before us will create a more efficient permanent measure to deal with these kinds of situations. We certainly should not have to burden developers and government officials with the unnecessary administrative difficulties that are involved in the kinds of ingenious means of allowing encroachments that currently exist.

I am satisfied that the current bill will simplify the process for approving encroachments in unit titles and that it provides a sensible test to ensure that such encroachments do not derogate from the enjoyment of public land.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (12.18): I thank the opposition and Mr Mulcahy for their contribution to the debate and their support.

It is important to note that this is another step in the Stanhope government’s delivery of a simpler, faster and more effective planning system for the ACT. The government sees it as imperative that all aspects of planning work for all sectors of the ACT community. The government made a very clear election commitment to make changes to the current planning system, to make it simpler to use, more consistent and faster for residents and for industry.

I think it is fair to say that it has been widely acknowledged that the previous planning system was very complex and that over the years it had become burdened by too many rules, regulations and guidelines, some of which were in conflict with each other, and that as a result we had a system that was resource intensive, often confusing and not able to respond quickly to changing community needs and expectations.

This amendment, although minor in nature, goes towards the aim of the government for a simpler, faster and more effective planning system. One of the most important aspects of this amendment to the Unit Titles Act is that it removes the need for the owner of the encroachment to go through an administratively complex process to apply to purchase a stratum lease by direct grant and pay additional costs prior to an approval of registration of the units plan.

There are an increasing number of older units plans, previously approved and registered, with minor encroachments that are now subject to redevelopment, requiring the registration of a new units plan which shows encroachments. Under the current legislation, the new units plan cannot show any encroachments as they cannot be approved by ACTPLA or registered by the Registrar-General unless the encroachments are removed. So, as the government is keen to assist lessees and to minimise unnecessary rules and regulations, we have brought forward this legislation and it provides a very simple solution that will speed up the unit titles process and save time. So I commend the Unit Titles Amendment Bill 2007 to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

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