Page 2615 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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The Assembly will recall that these notices enable a lessee to seek an official certification of either exempt DA or BA work, so that a permanent record can exist on appropriate files for future verification. The ability to seek such a certification is voluntary.

A further amendment contained in this bill is the substitution of the word “notification” for “consultation” in respect of certain statutory processes undertaken by ACTPLA. Clause 37 of the bill achieves this change, but it must be stressed again that this does not have any practical effect on people’s rights or statutory processes. This substitution is by way of rectification of an anomaly within the Planning and Development Act.

The statutory process of assessing a merit or impact track DA calls for its notification so that representations can be lodged in respect of the development proposal, which are then considered by ACTPLA as part of its assessment and ultimate decision in respect of that DA.

The Planning and Development Act already uses the word “notification” in respect of DAs, such as in the “minor” and “major” notification provisions of the act, but incongruously uses the word “consultation” in other related sections.

The change in this bill will ensure that the statutory requirement to notify a DA is clear, and that there can be no possible confusion with the role of ACTPLA in receiving and assessing DAs. ACTPLA is required to take into account representations made but does not conduct formal consultation, and it was not intended that this should be the case. This is consistent with statutory processes across other jurisdictions.

This change also makes it clear that there is a difference between those processes that undergo consultation, such as code development and substantive territory plan changes, and the statutory process of notification.

I will now turn to the issue of pre-DA consultation. Mr Barr, in his last speech on this bill, raised the government’s intention to introduce a separate bill that would deal specifically with signage requirements at development sites and enhancements to current pre-DA consultation requirements in respect of certain developments.

It is the intention of the government that such legislation will be introduced in the August sittings this year. It is considered that this bill will form a clearer focus for the Assembly to consider to what extent pre-DA consultation should occur, and I would welcome discussions with both the Greens and the opposition on this bill.

As we move forward with this bill it is important that the context of the DA approval process, lessee rights to develop in accordance with the planning laws and the avoidance of onerous or complex pre-development application processes are kept in mind.

The government has indicated in previous speeches on this bill that while it had sympathy with the intent of Ms Le Couteur’s previous amendments, it had difficulty

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