Page 3129 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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is an important one to ensure that the community is aware of the range of development applications.

I note the estimates committee request for more information to be provided and to be retained on the department’s website in relation to development applications. The only significant issue there really is the amount of data storage space. There are 4,500 to 5,000 development applications a year. That number will reduce as more are exempt and more go into the code track that will not require public notification. I do believe that over time that it will be possible to retain more of the merit and impact track development applications on the ACTPLA website. It is certainly the case that in the future there will be a need for fewer development applications because more are going through the other tracks that do not require development approval. That is another example of the new planning system in operation.

In closing, I might just make a couple of observations in relation to the criticism of the government and of me in this portfolio. Most particularly, I want to turn to the accusation that the Liberal Party is the source of all ideas in planning policy. I have to say with some amusement that Mr Seselja, in some of his planning policies, states the bleeding obvious. He makes a series of motherhood statements in relation to how one might go about providing resources to the Planning and Land Authority and then cries wolf when the statement of the bleeding obvious that everyone agrees on is picked up or is in some way implemented. Crazy. It is crazy to suggest that he has a monopoly on good ideas in the planning portfolio.

I know that Mr Seselja is very consumed with his own importance. He is the Leader of the Opposition, and we note that. But making an obvious statement that everyone agrees with and then suggesting that, because everyone agrees with it, they must have stolen it from him is at the outer edge of what reasonable public policy debate is about. In politics there is a bit of hurly-burly; you are prepared to cop a certain amount. But to suggest that you can simply make statements about the bleeding obvious and then suggest that other people are borrowing them is perhaps a little out there. I will close on those remarks.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.18—ACT Gambling and Racing Commission, $4,274,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $4,274,000.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (1.00 am): It is an interesting commission, the Gambling and Racing Commission. We have much talk these days about people with problem gambling and we see the government responding, in conjunction with the community, particularly through ClubsACT, to ensure that there are programs out there. They are ably assisted, of course, by Lifeline and their counselling service.

I have had a number of briefings. Through you, minister, I would say thank you to the commissioner; he has been quite forthright and very accurate in what he does. We appreciate the efforts that the commissioner and his staff put into gambling and racing in the ACT.

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