Page 2430 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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The government welcomes the commission’s report and remains committed to ensuring that the ACT remains at the leading edge of innovation in water-sensitive urban design and the use of secondary water to supplement potable water supply in the context of a more systematic and coordinated approach to catchment management.

I commend the government response to the Assembly.

Planning and Development (Territory Plan Variations) Amendment Bill 2013

Debate resumed.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.23): This bill covers processes around technical plan variations, also known as technical amendments to the territory plan, and specifically how they are used for future urban areas and to implement estate development plans, and also consultation periods.

In general, I am aware that there is community concern about ACTPLA’s very regular use of these technical amendments, and I note ACTPLA’s intent to enable “more effective and efficient processes associated with technical variations of the territory plan”.

The general concern about the overuse of this legislative option is the ability for ACTPLA to slowly institute policy creep. The principle is that technical amendments to the territory plan should only be minor policy changes or technical in nature. Thus if there are any major changes being made through a technical variation, consultation should have already been undertaken via an earlier process.

However, I am satisfied that in this bill those opportunities for community consultation have already occurred for the issues or areas being covered by these technical amendments.

This bill allows three main things to occur through technical plan variations, or technical amendments. Firstly, it allows ACTPLA to incorporate an approved estate development plan for future urban areas, including all relevant codes or provisions, into the territory plan through a technical amendment without further consultation. I note that by this stage the estate development plan has already been through a public consultation phase. Provisions which might be included could be particular codes; area-specific requirements for roads; parking or other infrastructure; bushfire risk mitigation construction requirements; or even outlining where a community garden might go.

Secondly, also in relation to future urban areas, ACTPLA can implement zoning changes and amend or introduce new codes for an area, and incorporate these into the territory plan via a technical amendment, as long as limited consultation has already

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