Page 3242 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

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As the ACT government moves towards a digital Canberra, initiatives such as the DA finder app—(Time expired.)

MS ORR: Minister, can you outline how pre-DA consultation guidelines for developers that are currently being developed will also support engagement with the community on planning?

MR GENTLEMAN: Consulting the community prior to submitting a development application—as we have heard earlier, known as the pre-DA consultation—can both improve the agreement of the local community and lead to better overall planning outcomes. With this in mind, the government, through the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, has sought to develop key guidelines whereby developers of significant projects in Canberra will be required to involve the community in the early stages of the proposal.

While developers are currently required to consult with the community before submitting a DA to the Planning and Land Authority on major projects, different developers have taken different approaches.

The draft plans for the guidelines, which been open for public consultation since 5 July, provide information on when an application will be required to go to a pre-DA consultation. But, importantly, the guidelines outline key principles for how the engagement should take place to ensure that it is genuine and effective.

Once finalised, the guidelines will ensure that at a minimum the developer is required to ensure that the community is informed about the consultation process and consulted on the proposal; engage with a diverse demographic, that is, age, gender, race, religion and physical abilities; make available to the community conceptual drawings and the relevant documentation; and conduct face-to-face engagement sessions with a diverse cross-section of the community.

Overall, these guidelines will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have their say on projects that have the potential to define our suburbs and our city. It is a clear commitment by the ACT government to ensure that community engagement is expanded to all citizens of the ACT.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, can you further outline how the government is enhancing engagement with the community on planning issues?

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said in my previous answers, the government remains committed to the engagement of the public in the planning decisions of the ACT. Through both the DA finder app and draft guidelines for pre-development application consultation, we are ensuring that the community are kept up to date on the development of their suburbs and the city, Further to this, the government is seeking to engage the community in other ways on planning issues. The recent announcement of a community panel process in the Kippax and Curtin centres and the Federal Golf Club are key examples of this. For Kippax and Curtin the process will be used to facilitate a conversation about the future direction of the centres.

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