Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 14 September 2017) . . Page.. 3710 ..
Clause 1.2 of schedule 1 of the bill amends schedule 4 of the Planning and Development Act. Schedule 4 of the Planning and Development Act contains types of development proposals that are assessable in the impact track and require either an environmental impact statement or an ESO. The bill amends this requirement by inserting a provision that a proposal is not assessable in the impact track if the works are undertaken in accordance with the code. In this way a code could be thought of as a standing ESO for all minor public works that fall under its scope.
Clause 1.4 of schedule 1 of the bill makes works that fall under the code exempt from requiring development approval. Section 133 of the Planning and Development Act defines exempt development as development that is exempt from requiring approval under a regulation. This clause amends schedule 1 of the Planning and Development Regulation so that works in accordance with the minor public works code are exempt development. This means that if works comply with the code then development approval will not be required.
The effect of these three clauses that I have discussed in detail is that the requirement to get a development approval and an ESO is replaced by the requirement to comply with the minor public works code. Where works comply with the code they will benefit from a streamlined development assessment process and will not need development approval.
The bill also contains a number of other amendments that are necessary to support these changes. Clause 4 of the bill inserts an exception to offences in reserves as set out in chapter 9 of the Nature Conservation Act. This amendment ensures that works that comply with a code are not captured under the offences related to reserves. There are also amendments to the definition of terms used in the amendments to ensure that they are used consistently across the legislation and in a manner that supports these provisions.
These changes only apply to minor public works carried out by the territory in reserves that comply with the code. Works that are not minor, works that do not comply with the code and works that are not undertaken by the territory will be assessable under the normal planning framework and will require development approval.
In summary, these amendments will make it easier for the parks and conservation service to undertake their core daily duties in managing the ACT’s reserves. The amendments will streamline processes and remove administrative barriers. The parks and conservation service can get on with the job of managing and protecting the ACT’s reserves and, while the amendments do introduce a new process for assessing works in reserves, they do not reduce the scrutiny of environmental impacts or lessen the role of the conservator. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Ms Lee) adjourned to the next sitting.
Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2017
Ms Berry, on behalf of Mr Ramsay, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.