Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 2017) . . Page.. 3236 ..
MR BARR: There are a number of elements to that question. Clearly, any process associated with seeking development approval for a project has both a consultation process associated with the development application itself and, potentially, depending on the zoning and nature of the project, environmental impact assessment processes that also involve community consultation.
It is important to note that ascribing certain percentages of shareholdings in the context of a proposal that has been put forward by an organisation that would partner with ActewAGL—assuming the ACT government would be a 25 per cent shareholder—is a fundamental mistake from the outset. With shareholdings, it is not necessarily just because they are two steps removed that the ACT government would be a significant shareholder in such a proposal. That remains to be determined. Any ACT government shareholding would be through Icon Water’s share of ActewAGL’s share of any project. So in that context, the premise of Ms Le Couteur’s question was not entirely accurate, or could not be determinedly established at that point to be a 25 per cent share.
On community consultation, the government will not be having a consultation in relation to whether, three steps removed, we might have some indirect ownership, or direct ownership, of the project. That is not the subject of community consultation. But the development application and the project itself will be.
MS LEE: Chief Minister, will the government take a similar approach to the community consultation process as they have for the Federal Golf Club proposal, for which there is no current DA?
MR BARR: If by that you mean a community panel looking at the project itself, that is something that I am not in a position to make a determination or an announcement on. You would be seeking an announcement of government policy in that regard, Ms Lee, and I am not allowed to do that in question time. And your question cannot seek that from me either. I understand it would be a breach of the standing orders.
However, clearly the proponents who sit outside of government, the proponents of the project, have been quite public in announcing their intent and in presenting at various public meetings. That there will be views for and against the project specifically or even the concept of waste to energy is well known. There will not be a consensus on this—in the context of the debate we had in this place earlier this morning. There will be people who will be opposed regardless and there will be people who will be supportive regardless of other people’s views.
The community consultation will need to focus in the first instance on what the proponent is undertaking now ahead of lodging a development application and then any specific statutory requirements when the development application is lodged vis-a-vis environmental impact and then the development assessment itself.
MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, what additional transparency requirements will the government require from the proponent of the waste to energy plant to allay public concerns about the potential impact on health and the environment?