Page 1256 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2016

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Motion (by Ms Burch) proposed:

That the report be noted.

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

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Planning and Development (Efficiencies) Amendment Bill 2016

Debate resumed from 10 March 2016, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.03): The Planning and Development (Efficiencies) Amendment Bill 2016 is a very important bill that my colleague Mr Coe will expand upon shortly. We appreciate the attempts of the minister to make sure that we do have a streamlined planning system. It is very important. Property-based activity in the ACT is a big driver of the economy. Therefore it is appropriate that the regulation and planning regime that we have works efficiently, works effectively and where we can minimise red tape it is an excellent thing to do. With that I hand over to Mr Coe.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.03): I reiterate what the shadow treasurer has said regarding the Planning and Development (Efficiencies) Amendment Bill 2016. As my colleague has already said, the bill makes amendments to the Planning and Development Act which are designed to increase efficiency in the planning process by allowing certain planning processes to occur concurrently. The bill is designed to improve efficiency in three key planning processes: territory plan variations, environmental assessments and development application assessment. The bill will allow proponents to have all three processes run concurrently.

At present, large developments that require a territory plan variation and/or an environmental impact statement take a very long time to proceed because of the long consultation and assessment time frames. Good developments are often delayed and sometimes ultimately do not proceed because it takes too long to complete the processes. Proponents may be discouraged from starting a development because they cannot afford to wait for the time it takes to get a decision. This is a bad outcome for the territory if indeed the development was going to be a good one.

As a territory we want to encourage investment. So we should work towards having the most efficient planning system that we can get. However, this has to be balanced with the rights of the community and the rights of all concerned in terms of having certainty in the planning system. The last thing we want to see is an even more fluid planning system come about as a result of this legislation. Instead, as a result of this legislation, we want to enable good planning outcomes but to do so as efficiently as possible.

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