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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 10 March 2016) . . Page.. 940 ..

A new process is also introduced by the bill to allow a technical variation to the territory plan in certain circumstances. A proponent can apply to have a declaration made by the authority that an encroachment on to unleased territory land or land leased by the territory would, if approved, deliver a good planning outcome. Criteria for making the declaration are embodied in the bill at proposed new section, l37AC. A declaration is a notifiable instrument ensuring that the decision is transparent to the community.

If a declaration is made, the territory plan can be varied through the technical variation. However, if a declaration is made, the technical amendment has a longer consultation period than the usual technical amendment. This is because the effect of the declaration is a possible zone change. The consultation period is at least 35 working days which is longer than the normal 30 working days for a full draft territory plan variation or the 20 working days for other technical amendments that require limited consultation. This longer period is warranted as the community will receive both the technical variation as well as the DA to consider and make comment on.

Maintaining an efficient development approval process requires regular ongoing efforts to make sure the process is effective and reasonable. Since introducing the Planning and Development Act in 2007, the government has monitored its operation, has listened to industry and the community, and continues to make improvements as required. It has not just reformed the planning and development system and then sat back and done nothing more. The government has kept an open mind and continues to be fluid in looking for ways to improve processes.

This bill is another example of the government being proactive to promote development in the ACT to the benefit of the whole community. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coe) adjourned to the next sitting.

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2016

Ms Fitzharris, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo—Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Minister for Transport and Municipal Services and Assistant Minister for Health) (11.43): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased today to present the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2016. In presenting the bill, I would like to thank the territory’s peak animal welfare representative bodies, RSPCA ACT, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and the Veterinary Surgeons Board, for the important role they have played in these reforms, and for their ongoing role in protecting animal welfare in the ACT.

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