Council has been advised that the Labor and Greens Assembly representatives have reached “in-principal agreement” to the Planning Bill and it is likely to be passed in the Assembly tomorrow, 6 June 2023. We understand there is likely to be 119 amendments to be debated.
The good news is that the views of Council about the original Bill have been incorporated into the amendments and we understand will be accepted.
Key features include:
- There will be a “robust and independent” review of the governance arrangements, required to be completed within 12 months. The terms of reference are currently being negotiated within Government.
- Call-in” powers will be replaced by a provision that specifies Territory Priority Projects. This will require the Planning Minister and the Chief Minister to agree that a land -use proposal is strategically important. The subsequent Instrument will be able to be disallowed by the Assembly before it takes effect.
- Improved community consultations.
- Strengthened environment protections.
- Focus on housing affordability.
- Retention of the ability of residents to seek Controlled Activity Orders.
The current form of the Bill has been arrived at after a significant amount of Community input. Council’s view is that the Bill now strikes an appropriate balance and should be passed into Law. The next steps, following the Bill’s passing will be the development of individual District Strategies and a new Territory Plan. Council will remain engaged to ensure the Weston Creek Community’s views continue to be taken into account.
We understand the Molonglo Community Form is also of the view that the revised Bill should be passed.