Page 3147 - Week 08 - Thursday, 7 August 2008

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The main requirements for the assessment of development applications for deconcessionalisation are set out in the Planning and Development Act and the Regulation. Firstly, the proponent must prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (or EIS). In preparing a draft EIS, the proponent must address the matters raised in the initial scoping document prepared by ACTPLA. The scoping document must include the matters required by section 54 of the Regulation. Once the EIS is completed, following public consultation on the draft, the development application can be lodged and publicly notified. The assessment of the application must take account of the completed EIS, third party representations and the probable environmental impacts of the proposal including social and economic impacts as well as other matters set out in sections 128 and 129 of the Act. These steps add up to a more open and thorough assessment process than was required under the repealed Land Act 1991.

In addition, before ACTPLA can decide a development application for deconcessionalisation, the Minister for Planning must first have made a decision in the affirmative under Section 261 of the Act. Section 261 requires the Minister to decide whether it is in the public interest for a development application to deconcessionalise a lease to be considered at all. In making this decision, the Minister must have regard to the following:

• whether the Territory wishes to continue to monitor the use and operation of the lease by requiring consent before the lease is dealt with;

• whether approving the application would cause any disadvantage to the community;

• whether the application to vary the lease to make it a market value lease is, or is likely to be, part of a larger development and, if so, what that development will involve; and

• whether the Territory should buy back, or otherwise acquire, the lease.

Only the Minister for Planning can make the decision required under section 261. The subsequent and separate decision, whether or not to approve the development application, is made by ACTPLA (unless "called in" by the Minister).

(2) The Guideline for the Assessment of Applications to pay out the Concession applying to a Lease was implemented in 2002 on an interim basis. The new assessment requirements in the Planning and Development Act, as I have just outlined, removed the need to retain the Guideline in the Act or Regulation. If necessary, ACTPLA may supplement the assessment requirements of the Act by incorporating additional information requirements into the scoping document for the relevant EIS.

Environment—air monitoring
(Question No 2111)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, upon notice, on 26 June 2008:

(1) How does the monitoring of particle levels and noxious gases at all monitoring stations in the ACT compare with the benchmarks for National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) for ambient air and could the Minister specify this for each monitoring station;

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