Page 3407 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013
insure by retaining units that they do not sell simply because they have got access to public funds, to taxpayers’ money. The government, acting as a property developer, may skew the market and erode confidence in construction and the ACT economy.
The territory plan is simply too complex, and the rules are almost impossible to comply with. This is not good for governance and transparency, and it certainly is not good for the building sector, which is already doing it tough. Of course, variation 306 was a significant blow for Canberra’s economy. It has placed unnecessary burdens on all concerned and is not delivering good planning outcomes.
It seems that the government is determined for everyone to suffer equally, rather than to have a situation where everyone wins. It seems that the rules are now so complex that if ACTPLA wants to stop any development they can. All the power rests with the government when it comes to stopping developments. That is not a good thing for certainty, it is not a good thing for confidence, it is not a good thing for investment and it is not a good thing for our economy. It is wrong when the government has the kind of power and the kind of influence on every single minuscule planning decision that they have at the moment.
We need a planning system that encourages investment, institutes certainty, encourages innovation and creativity, empowers industry and gives confidence for neighbourhoods. At present, the Labor government is failing.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney—General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (5.37): How extraordinary! How extraordinary to hear from the Liberal Party that they believe that when it comes to development, Canberra is closed for business. Did they for even a moment before standing up to make their arguments on this motion tonight reflect on what they were arguing in this place this morning? In this place this morning they were arguing, one, for a complete circumvention of the planning and development process and, two, for the government to reject a development proposal unilaterally, using the call-in powers without a development application having even been lodged.
Who in this case is arguing that Canberra is closed for business? It is those opposite, the same people who argue for development proposals to be unilaterally rejected without any development assessment process. What hypocrisy on the part of those opposite, Madam Deputy Speaker. What two-faced, bald-faced arrogance from those opposite that they have the gall to stand up and say that apparently Canberra is closed for business when this morning they were quite happy to argue against development that was worth tens of millions of dollars because they felt that that development was flawed.
They cannot have it both ways. But it shows the lack of any fundamental understanding of how planning law and development assessment should occur in this town for them to fall into such a basic and fundamental contradiction, as we have seen from Mr Coe today.