Page 3862 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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shops that store pool chemicals or hardware stores storing chemicals such as weedkillers. In setting this threshold, consideration was given to the relevant operation of the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 and the Dangerous Substances (General) Regulation 2004. The dangerous substances legislation provides for a hierarchy of substances that require certain levels of regulation, depending on the level of danger present.

I would now like to go into some detail about these amendments. The first point that I would like to make is that this bill makes the storage of dangerous substances an action that requires a development application and approval under the Planning and Development Act. The bill does this through an amendment to existing section 134 of the act. In essence, existing section 134 exempts the use of land, as opposed to bricks and mortar construction, from requiring development approval provided the use is authorised by a lease and provided the use is not associated with new physical construction itself requiring approval. The exemption in the act has the effect that merely changing what is stored on premises does not require development approval.

Clause 9 of the bill inserts a new section 134(3A) that removes this exemption in the circumstance when a lessee wants to begin storing a dangerous substance at or above a specified quantity. Development approval will be required even if the proposed storage is a use that is authorised by the relevant lease. For example, where a lease has an authorised use of storage and stores soft drinks on the site and the use is changed to storing dangerous substances at or above the specified quantity, a development approval will be required to store the dangerous substance. This allows the site, such as a warehouse in an industrial area, to be assessed from a planning perspective as to the suitability of the premises being used to store a dangerous substance rather than soft drinks.

The specified quantity or threshold that I refer to is what new section 134(3A) refers to as the “placard quantity”. The concept of the placard quantity is based on a hierarchy of regulation in the dangerous substances regulation 2004. Specifically, this requirement applies to storage of dangerous substances at or above the placard quantity, as defined in section 204 of the dangerous substances regulation. Section 208 of the dangerous substances regulation requires premises that store the placard amount of dangerous substances to be registrable premises. A number of other requirements also apply, including the requirement to have the premises identified through a placard. Schedule 1 of the regulation sets out what is the placard amount for each type of dangerous substance.

As the placard quantity amount is considered to be the appropriate level at which the premises needs to be registered under the dangerous substances legislation, this is considered to be the appropriate threshold for planning matters to be engaged. Storage of dangerous substances below the threshold provided by section 208 of the Dangerous Substances Regulation will be dealt with under the existing planning scheme. For example, a vet storing chemicals for the purposes of a business would be covered by a development approval to use the premises as a veterinary surgery.

The other key reform in relation to dangerous substances relates to the assessment track that will apply to any development application for approval of storage of

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