Page 3481 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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This report of the standing committee was released out of session and deals with draft variations to the territory plan which introduce new objectives for the community facilities zone, changes to the development table for the zone and revised community facilities zone development code applying to all community facilities zoned land. The committee noted the satisfactory community consultation process which had been conducted by ACTPLA and subsequent amendments already made in response to that satisfactory consultation.

The committee called for submissions and held public hearings, and it received eight written submissions, including from the Planning Institute of Australia ACT Division, the Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter, the University of Canberra and a number of community associations and councils. After consideration of the submissions and evidence during the hearings, including from the minister and his officials, the committee made six recommendations, the bulk of these recommending some further clarity around the terms “ancillary use” and “minor use” in the plan and the table. The committee further recommended that the directorate website should include details of the definitions of “ancillary use” and “minor use”.

I would like to thank all those who made submissions to and appeared before the committee, my fellow committee members, Ms Le Couteur and Mr Coe, and the secretariat office for their work during the period of the hearings and the preparation of the report. The committee has experienced some turnover as far as committee secretaries go in the recent past, and I would like to thank all who have contributed to the process and to the report.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (11.00): I would also like to join the chair in thanking the numerous secretaries we have had during this process. I think it has been very hard for them with stopping and starting. Also, of course, I thank my fellow committee members, Ms Porter and Mr Coe.

This is a particularly interesting draft territory plan variation, because ACTPLA told us that this is the first review of a whole zone since there has been the new Planning and Development Act. The other draft territory variations which we have dealt with have been changing particular things for a particular part of the ACT, but this is the first zone review. So that makes it particularly interesting, but it also makes it particularly disturbing.

As Ms Porter said, we had evidence from a number of people, and probably the most interesting evidence was that from the Planning Institute of Australia ACT Division. The thing that struck me mainly from that was that these people are professional planners; they know what to do. But the message I got from them was that they did not actually understand all of the things that were in this variation. If the professional planners do not understand it, what hope do the rest of us have? What hope does the Legislative Assembly have? I suppose we have a small amount of hope, because at least we are working on it on a bit more of an intensive basis, but what hope does the community have? The real message from this is that we need to have better written territory plan variations.

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