Page 1580 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 31 March 2009

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Road Transport (Dimensions and Mass) Act—

Road Transport (Dimensions and Mass) 6.5 Tonnes Single Steer Axle Exemption Notice 2009—Disallowable Instrument DI2009-27 (LR, 12 March 2009).

Road Transport (Dimensions and Mass) B-Double, 4.6 Metre High Vehicle and 14.5 Metre Long Bus Exemption Notice 2009 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2009-28 (LR, 12 March 2009).

Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act, Road Transport (General) Act, Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act, Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act—Road Transport Legislation Amendment Regulation 2009 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2009-6 (LR, 11 March 2009).

Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act—Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Amendment Regulation 2009 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2009-7 (LR, 12 March 2009).

Utilities Act—Utilities (Grant of Licence Application Fee) Determination 2009—Disallowable Instrument DI2009-30 (LR, 12 March 2009).

Planning—subordinate legislation

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Planning and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (2.47), by leave: Mr Speaker, the instruments of planning can be complex but the objectives of planning are very simple: meet the challenge of climate change; support economic growth; and include the community in decision making.

Good planning brings together the communal, economic and environmental needs of our society. And, yes, bringing these goals together can be a difficult balancing act. But that balance is at the heart of Labor’s approach to planning. That balance also applies to our approach to development. At one extreme, there will always be calls to “let it rip”, and at the other there will always be calls for “not in my backyard”. And our local politics will always throw up representatives of these views. But Labor in Canberra will always hold the middle ground.

Above all else, this is why the government is determined to keep politics out of planning. This city will not go the way of Wollongong. I want to acknowledge my predecessor, Mr Corbell, for his vision of a statutory independent planning authority. Making development application assessment a statutory function handled at arm’s length from government was a major reform. Mr Corbell’s legacy to our city is that politicians do not make decisions on individual development applications.

I genuinely look forward to the day that this becomes a cross-party consensus in Canberra, but until then I am content to fight for it as Labor’s view: “no” to short-term partisan politics and “yes” to long-term, evidence-based policy.

It has now been one year since the Planning and Development Act was passed. The passage of the act was the culmination of three years of research, consultation and preparation. Today, I can report to this Assembly that our planning system is strong.

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