Page 475 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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proposed development faces the 1920s buildings of the Barton heritage housing precinct and Telopea Park school. I note that the proposal limits the height of apartments on Macquarie Street, facing houses, to three storeys, but an apartment block to face the front of Telopea Park school is proposed to be seven storeys. Is the minister aware that the seven-storey building will directly overlook the school’s kindergarten playground and cast it into permanent winter afternoon shadow, making the school’s only secure after-school-care space unusable? Will the minister ensure that the building height is reduced to three storeys, given that the school front is only one-storey high, and downhill on the southern side of the development?

MR BARR: I thank the member for the question and for the opportunity to reiterate the position in relation to this particular development application. Ms Le Couteur may not be aware of some of the history of the master planning on this site. This process was undertaken over a period of time. The question of height limits on this site was the subject of considerable community consultation and a final master plan was agreed upon—and would have been agreed upon, of course, in this place—and endorsed as part of the territory plan.

The responsibility for assessing development applications—and I fear I will have to continue to remind members of this—sits with the statutorily independent ACT Planning and Land Authority, and it is not my intention, as Minister for Planning, to become involved in assessing development applications. Let me repeat that: it is not my intention, as Minister for Planning, to become involved in assessing development applications. We have a clear separation. This place, and the minister through this place, set the policy. We have a territory plan. That is our responsibility. We set height limits; we set all of the requirements that developers must meet, through the territory plan and through the various codes that come with that. Developers are then free to lodge development applications, and those are assessed independently by the Planning and Land Authority. And that is how it should be.

So it is not my intention to respond to a political campaign in this place by a political party. I will say again that it is my intention as planning minister to keep the politics out of planning, and most particularly to keep the politics out of individual development applications. That is how it should be, and that is how I intend to approach my time as Minister for Planning.

Economy—stimulus package

MR DOSZPOT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, yesterday the opposition received a briefing from senior officials on the commonwealth government’s stimulus package that included terms such as “guesstimate”, “not sure”, “still working out the detail”, “waiting for the numbers”, “all in the melting pot”, “forming on an hourly basis”, and “we don’t know”. Treasurer, what additional revenue will the ACT receive from GST and other sources as a result of the commonwealth stimulus package?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question. As a result of the package—I presume we are talking about the same package, the $42 billion stimulus package—the ACT community will get, as I understand it, around $350 million in payments. Some of that money will also go, for example, to the non-government

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