Two organisations are responsible for planning in the ACT:
- the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) - the ACT Government authority responsible for the Territory Plan, and
- the National Capital Authority (NCA) - the Commonwealth Government agency responsible for the National Capital Plan
EPSDD role and function
The key piece of planning legislation in the ACT is the Planning and Development Act 2007 (the Act), which is administered by EPSDD.
EPSDD has administrative responsibility for control of development on Territory land. It has many functions, with its core function being planning for Canberra's future growth in partnership with the community.
EPSDD has statutory roles performed under various pieces of legislation, the most important of which is development assessment under the Act, and the organisation advises the ACT Government on land, planning and building policy.
The key statutory planning document used by EPSDD is the Territory Plan, which provides the policy framework for the administration of planning in the ACT. The purpose of the Territory Plan is to manage land use change and development in a manner consistent with strategic directions set by the ACT Government, Legislative Assembly and the community. It must not be inconsistent with the National Capital Plan (NCP).
NCA role and function
The key piece of Commonwealth legislation dealing with planning and approvals is the Australian Capital Territory Planning and Land Management Act 1988. This legislation is administered by the NCA.
The NCA has administrative responsibility for control of development on designated land which is identified in the NCP, as being "areas of land that have the special characteristics of the National Capital".
The NCP is the strategic plan for Canberra and the Territory. It ensures that Canberra and the Territory are planned and developed in accordance with their national significance.