Page 1841 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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to fund, support and work with selected companies. The Griffin accelerator recently closed its 2015 round of applications. As I mentioned the other day, a total of 84 were received, more than double the previous year.

The government is building on its business development strategy to support small business. It is putting in place the policy settings that will ensure Canberra continues to be one of the most small business friendly cities in Australia.

Discussion concluded.

Planning and Development (Call-in Power) Amendment Bill 2014

Debate resumed.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.43), in reply: I thank Mr Gentleman in particular for his support on this, and I understand Mr Coe is also supporting the bill. The purpose of the bill is around the fact that call-ins can be very controversial. They are often on issues that receive considerable community discussion. The Greens have the view that a call-in can be used to circumvent public discussion.

Similarly it was motivated by the fact that our experience is that where pre-DA consultation is undertaken it has a positive influence on the outcome of this discussion because, as I said in my opening remarks on this bill when I tabled it, at that pre-DA point the developer perhaps has some greater flexibility and there is room for discussion with the community. Our experience has been that where there is pre-DA consultation there is less controversy, the projects often proceed more quickly and there is a higher level of community satisfaction.

That was the motivation behind the bill—to improve that level of engagement between proponents and the community in particular and to try and overcome some of the shortcomings of call-ins. I think it is well known that the Greens would prefer call-ins to be a disallowable instrument, to give the Assembly a space to oversee the planning minister’s powers. That is not something we have been able to garner support for in this Assembly, but it is a case we will continue to make.

Mr Gentleman will be moving a series of amendments and I will speak to those at the time. I am pleased to have been able to work with Minister Gentleman and the planning agency in order to find a way forward that achieves some of the objectives I set out to achieve, even if it is in a different form from what I originally proposed. I will be happy to discuss those matters more at the detail stage. I should possibly make my remarks now, having regard to Mr Coe’s continuing absence, but I will let Mr Gentleman introduce his amendments first. I thank Mr Gentleman and other members of the Assembly for their support of the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

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