Page 1509 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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meetings about it, that there were significant issues with that process. I understand that the shopping centre owner ran alternative consultations about their view of what the Kippax master plan should be, and this was fairly confusing for all concerned. I also know from some of the correspondence I have had that there have been some very strong feelings within Belconnen Community Council and that it has not always been easy for people to express their views.

The subsequent government consultation on the variation was flawed. I wrote to Minister Gentleman in March 2018 about my concerns. In addition to the consultation concerns, it is my opinion that the variation should not have been given interim effect. Basically, controversial planning changes should go through full consultation and Assembly scrutiny before they are brought into force, and that is what interim effect explicitly does not do.

When a variation is given interim effect, it becomes the law—the law for a year—unless someone does something before that to stop it. My planning bill, which has currently been approved in principle but not yet debated in detail, addresses interim effect. If that is passed, it will allow the Assembly to disallow interim effects.

It is clear from what I have been saying that I think the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal, which I chair, should have held an inquiry into this. Obviously, that was a decision of the majority of the committee, but it was not one that I agreed or agree with. It is particularly unfortunate because I understand that the Belconnen Community Council was urging people to make submissions to the committee, but this happened after the decision had been made. Of course, Belconnen Community Council was not aware of this and so any representations fell on deaf ears unfortunately.

It is very unfortunate that those in the community who oppose the rezoning will feel that they have been let down by this flawed process. I regret that we have not had a more fulsome community discussion about the virtues of removing green open space, because I know that the virtues of this action are not apparent to everybody.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

State of the Environment 2019—government response

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Advanced Technology and Space Industries, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Urban Renewal) (2.46): Pursuant to standing order 211, I move:

That the Assembly take note of the following paper:

Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Act, pursuant to subsection 19(3)—Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment—State of the Environment Report 2019—Government response.

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