Concerns new Planning Bill will give Minister more discretionary power


Shadow Minister for Planning and Land Management Peter Cain has raised concerns that the new Planning Bill will have more discretionary power, abstract processes, and unclear outcomes.

Mr Cain raised his concerns following the decision by the Minister for planning last week to use controversial ‘’call-in” powers to approve the YWCA’s development application in Ainslie.

“I fully endorse the outcome of the YWCA’s housing proposal in Ainslie which will provide support for vulnerable Canberrans,” Mr Cain said.

“The use of “call-in” powers however has highlighted the distressing power imbalance, poorly defined outcomes, and obstructive processes within the ACT planning system, which leave room for community confusion and discretionary decisions.

“Planning decisions for the ACT should be made by rigorous consultation, and a robust system with clearly defined objectives and outcomes, not at the discretion of the Minister.

“A planning system that works well would resolve these issues within the development stage, and not at the discretion of the Minister at the eleventh hour.

“This is indicative of this Labor-Greens Government’s tired vision for the ACT, and their disinterest in fostering a culture of transparency and good management.” Mr Cain concluded.