Page 1241 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2015

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outcomes that include the South Quay development near the Tuggeranong town centre, an important renewal project for Tuggeranong. That is probably why Ms Lawder is on board with the government’s urban renewal agenda and I thank her very much for raising this matter of public importance today.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (3.59): It is a pleasure to support Ms Lawder’s wonderful matter of public importance which calls for genuine—genuine—urban renewal, as opposed to a ministerial title thrown together in January 2015 as part of the administrative orders that in fact demonstrate that this government has not been focused on urban renewal. If the ministerial title is what dictates whether this government is focused on priorities such as core local services, what does that say about the 14 years when it did not have a Minister for Urban Renewal, Mr Assistant Speaker?

This is a government that, in the most recent few weeks, have decided that the construction sector, land release and indeed the building sector are something that they should consider supporting. However, that is in stark contrast to what they have done over the last few years in office in particular, let alone since 2001. And of course if this government were really committed to urban renewal, the first place they would look would be the territory plan. The territory plan is a mess, Mr Assistant Speaker. It is 2,500 pages of incomprehensible regulations.

If this government were serious about Access Canberra, they would start by making the territory plan accessible, because to the vast majority of people I speak to it is inaccessible, Mr Assistant Speaker. It is incomprehensible to actually work out what you are and are not meant to do according to the territory plan. Those 2,500 pages are done in six or seven hundred pages by councils right across Australia. And of course the territory plan is separate to the Planning and Development Act and to the Building Code. So when you put all those on top of each other, you have a huge number of regulations which I believe are incomprehensible for the vast majority of Canberrans.

Only now it seems that the ACT government is coming to the realisation that variation 306 and the solar access laws that Minister Corbell brought in are in fact having a detrimental impact on the ACT. They were bad regulations, Mr Assistant Speaker. We heard from the Planning Institute, the Property Council, the Institute of Architects, the Institute of Landscape Architects, the MBA and the HIA, who all said, “Don’t do it.” The government, under Minister Corbell and the Treasurer, said, “We are going to do it anyway.” Only now do you get the minister and ACTPLA officials saying, “There are some unintended consequences.” Well, quite frankly, when you are told what the consequences will be and you go ahead with it anyway, they are not unintended consequences; they are intended consequences. So what we are seeing with variation 306 are intended consequences of variation 306.

This government must be held to account for the years of lost productivity as a result of that variation. That variation alone has cost the ACT millions of dollars, simply because of Mr Corbell’s ideological crusade when it comes to solar access rules. What is more, they are not even having the intended consequence. They are actually shifting properties to the north, so you are actually getting south-facing courtyards right across new suburbs. Right across new suburbs there are south-facing courtyards—totally the thing which the minister said he was trying to avoid.

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