Page 3458 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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example where it has not worked. But that does not mean we get rid of the entire system. It means we need to keep working with the industry to make sure we get the underlying policy outcomes, as well as the outcomes for people that we are seeking with improvements to solar access rules.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (5.36): I feel compelled to contribute to this debate, although I was not intending to. It is the rhetoric and comments from those members opposite—Mr Rattenbury and Mr Gentleman—that drive the construction industry in this town absolutely bonkers. As the only member in this chamber who has worked with this document in industry, I can say the lip service those members opposite continue to pay to the industry by saying, “Oh, yes, we understand those issues. We’re working to try and fix them. It does some good things and they outweigh the negative,” is simply preposterous.

It was the implementation of the territory plan as it stands today and the Building Act and building regulations that drew me to join a political party. When they were implemented in 2008, people whom I grew up around in the construction industry in this city hung up their nail bags for the first time for many of them since they finished their studies at a very young age and said, “It is simply too hard to work as a builder in the ACT industry.” They either retired and left the industry, and with that people they had working for them were out of a job, or they took the other option and said, “I’m not going to put up with the headache of the bureaucracy, paperwork, rules, regulations and the ever-moving goal posts that are the ACT planning system,” and they went and worked for someone else.

It is about time some genuine discussions were had about how this document can be changed to work effectively. In principle, all of us agree with Mr Rattenbury’s comments that solar access is important. For planning academics it works well on paper, but it fails dismally in practice. Homes in Wright have been dug into holes, and that is common across all greenfield areas.

The area I think that has least been touched on specifically about solar access since its inception in DV306 is the impact it has on established properties within the ACT. There are homes on blocks that were gazetted and designed well before solar access, solar passive design and energy efficiency were ever conceived through the 60s, 70s and into the 80s, and those rules now apply to those homes as well. Mr Rattenbury was quick to point to people trying to build huge homes—the McMansion-style property—on small blocks. The comments I am making relate to people who are on generous sized, old-style Canberra blocks with modest homes that were simply poorly oriented when they were built in the early days. They are now restricted and hamstrung in what kinds of work they can do—the additions, alterations, extensions, the pergola, the new bedroom, the renovation—by these overbearing and ill-conceived solar access rules.

To go to the other extreme—the new home market—people are trying to build good sized homes for their families on the best blocks they can afford. In the territory the land supply has been choked and strangled by those opposite during their 15-plus years in office; they have been deriving an absolute premium and gouging the market on all new land sales. We are now undersupplied and unable to meet the demand of

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