Page 4827 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 11 November 2009

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I think there are tremendous opportunities available for the ACT and indeed for all states and territories in this renewed commonwealth interest. We are actively engaging in this reform agenda and look forward to considerable discussion with our commonwealth colleagues in the months ahead.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. What conditions will be placed on the ACT in order to be eligible to receive the federal infrastructure funding, and will this lead to the ACT changing its planning system?

MR BARR: I do not believe it will be necessary for the ACT to change its planning system. In fact, I think we can confidently say that we are at the forefront of planning system reform in Australia and that the system in place in the territory is a leading system, endorsed by the development assessment forum and indeed one that other jurisdictions are looking at as a model for reform elsewhere.

We have undertaken an extensive process. That process began with my predecessor, Mr Corbell, and I acknowledge his work in this area. We will continue, though our active engagement with industry and with the commonwealth, to seek further refinements to our planning system from time to time as issues arise, as we have been able to respond to changes that have occurred in the global economy. We were able to quickly take advantage of the commonwealth stimulus package, for example, in social housing and in schools.

The flexibility that our planning system has and our ability to respond quickly have meant that the ACT has been able to take advantage of commonwealth investment in those key areas. Again I note that investment was sadly lacking over an extended period under the previous Liberal government. It is terrific that the federal government is seeking to invest in social housing and in schooling. Long may it continue. We will continue to partner effectively with the commonwealth to deliver outcomes on the ground for ACT schools and for public housing in this city. And that is what really matters—not the name calling, the pettiness, the opposition for opposition’s sake that we get from the irrelevant rabble over on that side of the chamber.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Bresnan?

MS BRESNAN: What role has the ACT had in jointly developing national criteria for future planning in Australian cities?

MR BARR: I am very pleased to say that officials from the ACT Planning and Land Authority have been actively involved in these discussions. Mr Savery, of course, is also head of the Planning Institute of Australia and so takes an interest on a national level as well as representing the ACT very ably. I also acknowledge my friend and colleague Brooke Yates, who was recently announced as the ACT young planner of the year. Brooke is an official within the ACT Planning and Land Authority, and she has been working on these matters as well. So I think we have some very dedicated,

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