Page 739 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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We have the Greens who have sustainability as one of their four pillars on their website. We do not want to make bad decisions in the planning regime to put things in inappropriate places because we have rushed through this piece of legislation from an inept, incompetent government that has not looked to the future. I note, for instance, that Robert Macklin bagged Minister Barr for suddenly realising that Abbott and Hockey were in power and, “Oh, my goodness me, there might be a change to the economic circumstances of the ACT.” If the Treasurer had read his own risks to the ACT section in the ACT budget for the last four or five years he would know that it constantly says the biggest threat to the ACT economy is a change in the circumstances of the commonwealth. Well, you have been bagging Abbott out for years saying these things might hurt the ACT, but where is your preparation?

Look at the outcry over this bill. The Heritage Council, heritage groups, planning groups, architects and individual developers are concerned about this. But the government want to exclude all of them from the discussion. It is unreasonable to put a 30-day limit on this debate. If you are serious about consultation, change it. You could perhaps do something in two months; three months or more would be better. Treat it with the respect that it deserves and have an appropriate consultation, but do not tell community groups to just have a special meeting to satisfy the government’s need to compensate for their inability to manage the planning sphere in particular and the economy at large.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.33), in reply: Mr Coe has framed his speech in a very unfortunate way and it does not augur well for the conduct of the committee that he has already decided it is a waste of time. It is quite normal in many other parliaments that legislation often goes off to committee for shortish periods of time. The scrutiny committee does it all the time, and there is certainly scope here.

This provides an opportunity for members of the public to have a say on this legislation. There is a group of people out there who are well aware of it, who know the processes and who are keen to make some contributions. And already this morning I have had a number of emails from people saying, “Look, this is really handy; we look forward to making a submission.” People are attuned—

Members interjecting—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Rattenbury, sit down, please. Stop the clock. Members will remain silent while Mr Rattenbury closes the debate, please.

MR RATTENBURY: Members of the public are attuned to the fact that this is in play. There is a particular group of people out there who have an interest in this and who will participate. The committee is quite capable of conducting this in the time frame that is suggested under this motion.

People will come into this process. The Assembly has clearly given its in-principle support to this legislation this morning, but there is scope to understand it better.

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