Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 312 ..
This is a debate not for the next 12 to 18 months and not between now and the next election; this is a debate about the next 20 to 30 years. In the next 20 to 30 years, this city’s population will be over half a million people. Indeed, it will be closer to 600,000 people. This government has a plan and an objective and a vision for how the city needs to grow and develop to accommodate those new citizens, many yet to be born, who are going to need homes and places to work and good access to important facilities.
There are two options: we can continue with business as usual. We can continue to bulldoze more and more endangered ecosystems on the fringes of our city. We can continue to do that. We can continue to build more and more roads at a cost of billions of dollars, a cost of billions of dollars—
MR CORBELL: They do not like the counterarguments, Madam Assistant Speaker, but they have to listen as much as we have to listen to outrageous misleading of the Canberra community. Madam Assistant Speaker, we can continue with business as usual. In the last 10 years we have spent $1.2 billion on road infrastructure in this city—$1.2 billion. Has anyone suggested that over the past 10 years that level of expenditure has been either unsustainable or irresponsible? No, they have not.
But when it comes to investing in a project that is worth somewhere between $700 million and $800 million and which is going to change the way settlement happens in our city, where people live, how they are able to access better public transport, all of a sudden it is a controversy. Those opposite have no vision for the future growth and development of our city—no vision. They did not even go to the last election with a public transport policy. Their only policy was to build more car parks. That was their transport policy. You look at urban planning, transport and land use planning trends around the world and you see how stuck in the 1950s they are when it comes to this type of debate.
Let us turn to the detail of this bill. This bill is about providing for certainty and consistency in decision-making on an important infrastructure project. You go to any other jurisdiction in the country; jurisdictions have important infrastructure project legislation that enables timely and certain decision-making on development assistance.
Mr Coe: To bypass councils.
MR CORBELL: No, not to bypass councils. Mr Coe is wrong. It is about providing finality to the decision, to either approve or reject. That is why in many jurisdictions the decisions are made by elected representatives themselves.
We are not proposing that here. What we are instead proposing is a framework that gives certainty on the development approval. Let us have a look at what the review of Latimer House principles in the Australian Capital Territory by the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra had to say on this point. They have looked very closely at the issue of judicial review and they have reflected on the Latimer House principle which says: