Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 166 ..
MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. What is the government now doing to streamline the planning process for these valuable sites? How quickly can the problem be rectified?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Bresnan for the question. The major reforms to the planning and development system that were instituted in 2007 and 2008 have streamlined planning in the ACT. We have the most efficient and effective planning system in the country. That is very clear from the performance of the Planning and Land Authority in recent times. The additional resources put into development assessment have significantly reduced the backlogs that were there under the old system. The new system is functioning very effectively.
The measures that were put in place by the government to facilitate the massive investment through the commonwealth stimulus package have been incredibly effective. The ACT is one of the leading jurisdictions, if not the leading jurisdiction, in the implementation of economic stimulus measures across education, social housing and a variety of other areas. So the planning system has been responding very well. The flexibility that was built into the new system has proved to be quite valuable in responding to changed circumstances and the government will continue to closely monitor the situation.
In relation to the service station site specifically, we are very keen to see redevelopment opportunities taken by the private owners. But ultimately, while you can dangle many financial incentives in front of the private sector, they own the sites. It is up to them to come forward with the development applications.
MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you. Minister, can you update us on progress on some of these sites that have not been addressed? In particular, Page, Latham and Rivett come to mind.
MR BARR: Obviously, I do not have that information on every service station site in front of me now. I will get some advice from the Planning and Land Authority on the sites on which there have been approaches to government in relation to remediation, and also potentially pre-application meetings before a development application is lodged, and I will provide that information to the Greens.
MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, yesterday in question time you were asked about the use of consultants to find savings in the ACT budget. You said that, at the time of the 2009 estimates hearings, a decision to establish a panel of consultants had not been taken at that time. Treasurer, when was the decision taken to