The Barr government has released a Draft Territory Plan Variation to again try to fix its complicated solar access rules, but it doesn’t go far enough, Shadow Minister for Planning Alistair Coe said today.

“As predicted, the solar access rules have added up to $50,000 to the cost of new houses and lead to absurd building outcomes. They have frustrated owners and builders across the Territory. Unfortunately thousands of homeowners have had to comply with rules which the government now admits were wrong,” Mr Coe said.

“The Canberra Liberals voted against Variation 306 and at we anticipated at the time that it would create the disasters that it has.

“Variation 306 introduced complicated requirements and was widely condemned when it was introduced. The government refused to listen to experts and the community who expressed concerns about the impact of the rules.

“The government’s extreme solar laws for new homes have caused perpetual damage across the Territory. The announcement of changes to the rules included in Draft Variation 346 is an embarrassing back down from the government and still doesn’t go far enough.

“The changes in Draft Variation 346 are just the government tinkering with the rules rather than committing to a genuine change.

“The Canberra Liberals have long campaigned for significant reform to these misguided rules. I once again call on the government to fully admit their error in introducing these rules and commit to completely rewriting the solar access provisions.

“It’s a shame it has taken years of stubbornness, thousands of poorly designed houses and hundreds of sub-optimal street designs for the government to start accepting their errors,” Mr Coe concluded.