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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 12 February 2015) . . Page.. 324 ..

I note that this approach to limit appeal rights through the Assembly where projects are of benefit to the ACT community as a whole has recently been supported by an independent report. We have heard the details of that from Minister Corbell this afternoon. The report was tabled by the Speaker this week. In addition, clause 4 of the bill amends the schedule of the AD(JR) Act to provide that review under the act does not apply to a decision in relation to the development proposal related to light rail.

Contrary to Mr Coe’s statements, this measure does not remove all avenues of review or appeal. The ability to seek review by the Supreme Court under the common law or inherent jurisdictions of the Supreme Court is retained. However, time limits will apply. Clause 12 of the bill inserts a new section 137D into the Planning and Development Act, which provides that any person may not start a proceeding in a court in relation to the decision on a development proposal that is related to light rail more than 60 days after the day the decision is made.

The restrictions proposed by this bill will not apply to a development approval decision involving a protected matter as defined by the Planning and Development (Bilateral Agreement) Amendment Act 2014, or the bilateral agreement amendment act as it is known. Clause 5 of the bill ensures that a development decision involving a protected matter will continue to be the subject of review under the AD(JR) Act.

Clauses 17 and 19 of the bill provide that development approval decisions in the merit and impact track involving protected matters will continue to be subject to ACAT merit review. As I said in the presentation speech, the bilateral agreement amendment act was made to enable the commonwealth to accredit ACT environmental assessment processes under the proposed one-stop shop processes. Full review rights are retained for these decisions to protect matters of national environmental significance and to retain the potential for a one-stop shop approval process here in the ACT consistent with negotiations with the commonwealth.

I would like to make it clear that the existing legislation on matters of national environmental significance will not be affected by the proposed measures in this bill. Contrary to the scare tactics we have heard from Mr Coe today, and taking into account comments from the community councils through the PETAMS inquiry earlier this year, the development application, assessment and approval processes, including public notification and the right to comment, will remain the same as for standard development applications.

In conclusion, this bill makes important amendments to the Planning and Development Act to expedite the construction of a project of major significance to the Canberra community. The measures proposed by this bill are proportionate and appropriate to the future development of capital metro.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the right time to act on light rail. We cannot afford to wait until our growing city’s traffic congestion and infrastructure problems become too large for us to fix.

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