Page 1286 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009
that it may be that I will need to take questions on notice if there are questions for the Treasurer or Minister for Health.
Questions without notice
MR SESELJA: My question is to the planning minister and relates to private sector contributions to the ACT economy. Minister, what is the total value of currently lodged development applications in ACTPLA funded by the private sector?
MR BARR: That would, of course, be a moving feast depending on the day on which the question is asked, so I will obviously have to take that on notice. If the member would like me to take it on notice for applications in the system as of today, I am happy to use this as the time point and I will get back to the member.
MR SESELJA: Thank you, minister. Minister, can you explain why federal Labor’s development applications are fast-tracked whilst the private sector is delayed?
MR BARR: Development applications are fast-tracked through the planning system according to which assessment track they fall into.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR BARR: The changes to the Planning and Development Act put in place a new development assessment process, and those new development tracks include exemptions where there is no development application required and a co-track whereby if a developer meets the applicable code for a particular type of development, it then does not have a requirement to go through the more complex planning processes. Then, of course, there is the merit and the impact track.
Quite rightly, we have in place a new structure for assessing development applications according to the complexity of the proposals. For all the snide interjections and the implications that come from the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues who are content in this place to oppose everything for the sake of opposition only and for no other reason, the important point to note here is that the exemptions that I have provided through the regulations to assist the smooth passage of the commonwealth stimulus package go simply to extend provisions that already apply either in the residential or commercial sectors into the school sector.
Effectively, what we are doing, Mr Speaker, is creating a schools code. Those opposite have agreed with that. In fact, they agree with the government’s approach. So this question is entirely about opposition for opposition’s sake. It probably shows the dearth of issues for the opposition to raise today that the Leader of the Opposition has to come back to attack the government on a position that he in fact himself supports, and has said so publicly.
What is the issue here, Mr Speaker? What is the issue? Is the Leader of the Opposition seriously arguing that the provisions the government has put in place through these new regulations should not be there? No, he is not. He supports these provisions. But