Page 2478 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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proposal and the proposed variation are already made public under the statutory development assessment process. In any case, a significant public interest in ensuring the transparency of development decisions for which there is no reasonably practical alternative necessitates this measure.

The next significant amendment is to bring into the new act what the government proposed to include in regulations and better articulate the nature of the two means of assessing the charge. The amendment also inserts into the government’s proposed regulation, which will now form part of the new act, two additional clauses to ensure that there can be no doubt as to when the provisions apply.

In addition to this, the amendments articulate not only what the charge is intended to be but also establish the broad process of how the Treasurer is to determine that charge. This is consistent with the recommendations of the scrutiny committee and better balances the need for flexibility with the importance of ensuring that it is clear exactly what power the parliament is intending to delegate.

The next amendment deals with improvements, which we have previously discussed in relation to the Liberal’s amendments. The Green amendments ensure there can be no doubt that improvements, whether they be on the land subject to the lease or an ancillary part of the development proposal, cannot be taken into account in conducting the valuation. The amendments do however ensure that the full value of the existing condition of the land itself and nothing more can be taken into account and recognise the reality of contemporary valuation practices. This ensures that the basis of the charge, that is, the value of the right being granted by the community, is what is being paid for by proponents—nothing more and nothing less. It reduces the scope for argument and, as I referred to in my in-principle speech, we have complementary amendments that recognise the practical reality in trying to fully articulate the extent of the right and the commercial reality of the returns that can be achieved by redeveloping Canberra properties.

We have responded to this issue in a much more honest and accountable way that clearly articulates when the community is prepared to forgo the charge because it is accruing an alternative benefit from the development. The amendments clearly articulate those alternative benefits where it is appropriate to forgo the charge rather than the originally proposed generic regulation-making power.

The Greens amendments set up five new categories of remission and create the capacity to deal with any other matters, should they arise. The categories are sustainability and energy efficiency; planning zones, which includes the capacity for more detailed criteria; community purposes, for example, for not-for-profit community childcare centres; heritage significance; and environmental remediation.

The amendments require the minister to set criteria, which are disallowable, for when these categories apply. For example, this might be the minister prescribing that if a residential development achieves eight stars it will be eligible for a remission. The Treasurer will also be required to set the rate of remission so that, for example, a seven-star building might get 75 per cent, a six-star building might get 50 per cent. These provisions are replicated for all the remissions so that the minister determines the policy settings, and the Treasurer the amount of money that can be remitted.

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