Page 1271 - Week 04 - Thursday, 10 April 2008

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It makes no sense for ACTPLA to issue an approval for a DA without evidence that the design meets their minimum star ratings set out in the BCA. These requirements should be here in the regulations. It is much more appropriate that ACTPLA has an energy rating requirement that matches the BCA requirements, which would then reinforce the message that energy efficiency and star rating is fundamental to building design and must accompany the DA to be taken into consideration by ACTPLA. Without the star rating accompanying the DA, the ACTPLA assessment officer will have no basis to consider or confirm that the design of a proposed dwelling has attained a suitably high standard of energy efficient sustainable design.

There are serious problems with the way in which concessional leases are dealt with; in particular, the way that any new development is not required to comply with the same development restrictions as the surrounding neighbourhood in terms of plot ratio, height limits et cetera. These regulations were an opportunity to correct those problems. The opportunity has been missed. Hopefully the next round of reforms will be put out for public consultation in draft form before ACTPLA and the government finalise their positions. If the government listens to the community as much as it listens to the development lobby, which is likely to be much louder, the concerns that I have raised today will be addressed and rectified.

I urge members to think about the concerns I have raised today and to ensure that we do listen to the voice of community people in relation to our planning, because it is our planning that sets the social, economic and environmental shape of Canberra.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.11): As detailed in the explanatory statement, this regulation covers a range of matters associated with the new planning system. This includes leases, environmental impact statements, transitional provisions, development approval exemptions and procedures, amongst other things. It is clear that the regulation is a key component of the new planning system and enables it to operate. Together with the Planning and Development Act and the new territory plan, this regulation is an integral part of what is the most transparent planning system this territory has seen, with all policies, rules and planning requirements detailed in the various component parts.

As members would be aware, the new planning system has trodden a path of policy neutrality, particularly in respect of the territory plan, and this policy has also been applied to the extent possible to these regulations. Bearing in mind that the governing act is indeed a reforming act, as a consequence some of the aspects of pre-existing policy needed to be made compatible with the new act. The new legislative framework for the planning system is now in place. It is an open and transparent system that has been constructed so that it can be a dynamic system that can respond to changes in community requirements and adapt to new and emerging advances in both planning and sustainable development approaches.

In considering this disallowance motion, it is important to realise that the various components of the planning system reform package do different things, and we must not confuse matters that must be dealt with under the Building Act and regulations

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