Current at: 13 July 2006
The Housing Industry Association welcomes the publication of the ACT Government’s draft Bill for Planning System Reform as a first step towards untangling a complex, frustrating and uncertain development approval process.
ACT and Southern NSW Executive Director Caroline Lemezina said HIA has long regarded the ACT planning system as the most industry-unfriendly in the country.
“It has evolved since self-government because successive legislative assemblies have ignored the voice and opinions of the building and construction industry in order to satisfy the demands of pressure groups and academics whose basic aim is to restrict growth and redevelopment,” she said.
“As a result, the planning system has become increasingly less attractive to businesses considering investment here and the implications for the future prosperity of the Territory have simply been overlooked.”
Ms Lemezina said Canberra ’s potential growth as a regional centre, its ability to provide for changing demographics and household composition, as well as its need to encourage and accommodate new industries and activities in order to reduce reliance on the Public Service, all depend on a planning system that provides certainty of outcome.
“A flexible and simplified approval process will not only help the industry respond to the needs of Canberrans, it will encourage local builders and designers to produce more variation and innovation in their designs,” she said.
“The Government’s proposals to simplify planning zones, review codes and establish a more streamlined and certain planning approval process are all steps in the right direction. HIA congratulates Planning Minister Simon Corbell for sticking to his guns and building on the short-term improvements and changes which he has delivered over the past 12 months.
“For our part, we will support and work with the Government and the ACT Planning Authority on this Bill and on future legislation to ensure the best outcome for a viable and sustainable Canberra .
“This city needs jobs for our youth and homes more suitable for the increasing number of older people among us. The Bill is an excellent start in addressing the challenges.”