Page 1673 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

additions or alterations to these properties to comply with the rules as set out in DV306 will significantly restrict the freedom of ACT home owners to improve their properties.

In the single dwelling housing development code, rule 43 relates to water tanks. It outlines the size that must be installed in relation to the size of the block when building a house or extending an established property. It requires a tank to be connected to at least one toilet, the laundry, cold water tap and all external taps. There has been no change to the tank requirements in DV306 but there has been a change to the definition of “minor extensions”. Previously an extension was considered minor if the increase in roof area was less than 50 per cent of the existing roof area. DV306 now defines a minor extension as—and I quote from the variation:

… an extension where the increase in the combined roof plan area, driveway, car manoeuvring areas and car parking areas is less than 25 per cent of the total of the areas of these components at the date of lodgement of the development application or building application.

In reality, what this means, for example, is that the owner of a modest, 120 square metre home that wanted to build a double carport, typically a 36 square metre addition, would be required to install a water tank and re-plumb their bathroom, laundry and the external taps to the property in order to comply with this provision. The cost of installing the tank and carrying out the required plumbing work would cost potentially as much as, if not exceed, the cost of the carport. These kinds of regulations impact significantly on local business as owners simply cannot afford the onerous add-on costs and will inevitably result in a larger number of structures being built illegally.

Another of the significant issues of DV306 is the significant use of ambiguous language. Many of the criteria that are detailed within 306 are ambiguously written and are open to various interpretations. This was an issue that was raised in the submission provided by the Planning Institute of Australia. The use of ambiguous terms such as “buildings are consistent with the desired character” or “efficient use of site” often fail to clearly articulate the intent of the criteria and often result in an unnecessary number of development applications not being approved as the interpretation of the applicant differs from that of ACTPLA.

This has seen cases being sent to ACAT for resolution. This not only erodes the confidence of the industry and the community but also comes at a cost to the ratepayers of the ACT. To put it simply, the use of more descriptive language would provide clarity and confidence to the planning system in the ACT. A simple rule of thumb is: if it cannot be drawn, it should not be included.

I have outlined today that draft variation 306 leaves a lot to be desired. It falls significantly short of what could be described as sound planning policy. The Canberra community are once again left to suffer the consequences while this ACT Labor government impose their ideological aspirations upon the Canberra community without a proper appreciation of the outcomes their policy will have at the grassroots level. Therefore I urge this Assembly to support this motion.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video