Page 325 - Week 01 - Thursday, 12 February 2015

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Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 7

Mr Barr

Ms Fitzharris

Mr Coe

Ms Lawder

Ms Berry

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Wall

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Jones

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 7, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 8.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.39): I will be opposing clause 8 of this bill because it gives ACTPLA the authority to disregard advice from the Heritage Council and the Conservator of Flora and Fauna for development proposals in the merit track. We believe that removing the protection is unnecessary and sets a dangerous precedent. We would ask the question: why should the light rail project be exempt from the normal planning process—the very process that every other developer in Canberra must comply with? If there is ever a case to set this precedent, it should be done far more carefully and not in this rushed way by a government that has not consulted on the bill.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (5.40): The removal of this measure as proposed by the opposition is not supported. This measure is essential to permit the decision maker to take proper account of and give due weight to the priority nature of the capital metro project when assessing the relevant development application against government referral agency advice. The measure has a limited targeted effect. The provision retains the ability of referral agencies to comment on proposals and the decision maker must still take this into account in assessing and deciding the application for development approval.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.41): I support Mr Coe in his opposition to this and the other clauses that he is moving against. I will speak to all of those on this occasion. The issues in relation to this bill, as was the case in relation to the project facilitation bill, most of all take away the rights of members of the community to have a say in this process. The issue for members of the opposition has been that, if this is such a great process, why is it being done without very much reference to the people of the ACT?

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