Legislative Assembly Committee inquiries and reports

*A Government response on the Standing Committee’s Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services Report No. 4 (2012–2013) is yet to be finalised and will be reported in the 2014–15 annual report.

No. 1 Annual and Financial Reports 2011–2012 (Planning, Environment and TAMS)
No. Recommendation Government response Implementation
1 The Committee recommends that the Government place greater emphasis on the importance of consuming wisely as part of its ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ education campaigns. Agreed. The Directorate’s ACTSmart Business and Public Event waste management and recycling programs and the ACTSmart Schools program all have smart purchasing components as part of their accreditation standards. Waste education for householders is managed by TAMS.
2 The Committee recommends that the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate in future includes a note to explain the discrepancies between the target and actual results for accountability indicator 1.4(a) relating to the percentage of audits/investigations undertaken of new electrical/gas installations and new sewerage connections. Agreed. Inspection requests are generated on the day they are lodged. Hence there are some circumstances where the inspection does not take place until the following financial year, e.g. an inspection sought on 30 June that occurs on 1 July. The discrepancy is caused by the delay.
3 The Committee recommends that the Government states when the Lease Variation Charge schedule for Braddon will be published. Agreed in principle. Updating, amending and remaking of the Lease Variation Code is a complex legal process. A review of the LVC legislative framework has commenced. Subject to Government support for proposed amendments, it is anticipated that a revised code, including codified LVC for Braddon, could be published in 2015.
4 The Committee recommends that better mechanisms and reporting procedures be instituted in all Directorates to ensure that the implementation of Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment report recommendations can be properly monitored and assessed. Agreed. Processes have been put in place to ensure that a coordinated whole-of-government approach is taken in responding to the implementation of recommendations.
Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services – Special Report No. 3
Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No 308: Cooyong Street Urban Renewal Area
No. Recommendation Government response Implementation
1 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that the draft variation to the Territory Plan proceed subject to the recommendations set out in this dissenting report.
Agreed. Completed. Variation to the Territory Plan No. 308 (V308) commenced on 4 April 2014 consistent with this recommendation.
2 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that land be rezoned to allow higher density residential development and mixed use development.
Agreed. Completed. Consistent with this recommendation V308 rezoned the Cooyong Street urban renewal area to the following zones: RZ5 high density residential; CZ5 mixed use; and PRZ1 urban open space.
4 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that the proponent works with ESDD to undertake further analysis of the likely traffic and parking impact and the outcomes of the study are included in any future development application.
Agreed. Further analysis of the traffic and parking implications of the development will be undertaken at the detailed design stage. Any outcomes of the study will be taken into account when submitting development applications for the site. Development applications are assessed against the relevant codes which apply at the time the development application is submitted. This includes the parking and vehicular access general code. This recommendation is a matter for the proponent at the development application stage.
5 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that the proponent investigate options to facilitate greater use of sustainable transport options.
Noted. The variation is consistent with the ACT Planning Strategy and the Transport for Canberra policy which promote urban intensification in strategic locations. These include areas with proximity to the city and town centres and along major transport corridors. This can reduce reliance on the motor vehicle and encourage use of public transport, cycling and walking as alternative transport. See report for further comments. V308 promotes transport efficient settlement patterns
by providing housing in a strategic location close to the city centre. This provides opportunities for transport options other than the private vehicle consistent with this recommendation.
6 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that the height of buildings be reduced.
Agreed. The height of the taller building elements was reduced from 15 storeys to 12 storeys. Completed. Variation 308 commenced with reduced building heights consistent with this recommendation.
8 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that the Conservator of Flora and Fauna conduct a further review of the trees to be included in the redevelopment.
Agreed. This further review has been conducted by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna. The Conservator advises that the seven registered trees should remain on the register and that there are no other trees that are of a registrable quality. The Conservator identified a number of trees across the site that have high value and should be considered for retention. The Conservator’s comments in relation to these trees pose design-related responses. For this reason the Conservator’s comments are more appropriately considered at the detailed design stage as part of a development application. Completed. The review did not recommend any changes to V308.
9 Mr Gentleman and
Dr Bourke recommend that the proponent investigate the impact on the proposed development of the non-sale of the Catholic Church site.
Noted. This is a matter essentially beyond the scope of the processes for variations to the Territory Plan. Notwithstanding this, the sub-division pattern contained in the draft variation allows for the redevelopment of Section 52 Braddon to proceed without Section 57 being developed. See report for further comments. The proposed development can take place in full or in part with or without the sale of the Catholic Church site.
Inquiry into Appropriation Bill 2013-2014 (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2013-2014
No. Recommendation Government response Implementation

64

The Committee recommends that when the ACT Government becomes aware of errors in the Budget Papers those corrections be made available to the Estimates Committee as soon as practicable rather than waiting for the day that the Directorate or Agency appears before the Committee.

Agreed.

No errors have been detected; however if any errors are detected they will be referred to the Estimates Committee as soon as practicable.

71 The Committee recommends that the ACT Government finalise, as a matter of urgency, the
on-going issues at the Pialligo Quarry.
Noted. A draft licence was provided to the operator of the Pialligo Quarry on 31 July and officers from the Environment Protection Agency and the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate have met with the operator to confirm the conditions of the licence. Finalisation of the licence and development approval are subject to the relevant development approval processes.

TAMS is the land custodian
and this is not a matter for
the Directorate.

90 The Committee recommends that the ACT Government publish in the budget the number of stop-work notices issued. Not agreed. Information on the number of stop work notices issued is more appropriately published in the ESDD Annual Report. The number of stop-work notices will be published in
the Directorate Annual Report.
91 The Committee recommends that the ACT Government publish in the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate Annual Report the number of Development Applications assessed. Agreed. Information on the number of development applications assessed is currently included in the Directorate Annual Report in the Analysis of Agency Performance Chapter. Information on the number of development applications assessed will be included in the Directorate Annual Report in the Analysis of Agency Performance Chapter.
94 The committee recommends that the Government clearly publish the operations of the Carbon Neutral Fund. Agreed. Details on the projects supported through the Carbon Neutral Government Loan Fund are listed on the ACT Government website, and updated each funding round. Guidelines for applicants are also available publicly on the website. The operation of the Fund is reported in the Directorate Annual Report. The Directorate website
http://www.environment.act.gov.au/cc/actgov_ops/carbon_neutral_government_loan_fund is routinely updated and details:
  • operations of the Fund
  • guidelines for applicants
  • details of new projects funded
  • project fact sheets.
The Directorate annual report updates the information since the previous reporting period. The ACT Government’s 2014 audit report recommendations for process improvements have been implemented.
96 The Committee recommends that the ACT Government as a matter of priority establishes a single Nature Conservation Agency. Noted. Options to establish a single conservation agency are being developed for Government consideration. Still under consideration.
99 The Committee recommends that the ACT Government release the submission to Infrastructure Australia and all other documents relating to light rail. Agreed in part. The Government has already released the submission to Infrastructure Australia (on July 27, 2013) and material developed in support of that submission. Subject to considerations outlined in the response to recommendation 97 above, the Government would consider publication of any other material as it becomes prudent and commercially appropriate to do so. No change from Government response.

Legislation report

The Directorate is responsible for administering a range of environmental and planning legislation. The Acts administered by the Directorate under the Administrative Arrangements, as at 30 June 2014, are listed below. Architects Act 2004 Amendments to the Acts administered by the Directorate and passed by the Legislative Assembly between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014 are: Architects Act 2004 Building Act 2004 Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004 Electricity Safety Act 1971 Energy Efficiency (Cost of Living) Improvement Act 2012 Environment Protection Act 1997 Heritage Act 2004 Lakes Act 1976 Lands Acquisition Act 1994 National Gas (ACT) Act 2008 Planning and Development Act 2007 Public Place Names Act 1989 Surveyors Act 2007 Unit Titles Act 2001 Utilities Act 2000 Water and Sewerage Act 2000 Water Resources Act 2007

A surveyors trig point setup viewing the sunset
Sunset through a surveyors trig point, by Ed Darke.