Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 30 October 2012

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Parliamentary Record 1


Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Hansard Office

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Tuesday 30 October 2012 233 a chairperson the chairpersons of the Development Consent Authority, the Heritage Council and the Environment Protection Authority a representative of the Local Government Association also appointed by the minister the minister may appoint up to five additional members to the planning commission. Last month, I announced the future appointment of Gary Nairn as Chairman of the planning commission following the passage of this bill. Gary Nairn comes to the role with a background in land surveying and mapping, and currently operates his own consultancy business specialising in business development, spatial information, and property matters. He lived in the Territory for 15 years during the 1980s and 1990s and was involved in the planning and design of key developments including Bayview, Palmerston and Cullen Bay. He served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister John Howard from 2004 to 2006 with responsibility for water reform and the Science, Engineering and Technology Unit, and was Special Minister of State from 2006 to 2007. The chair will have a crucial role in guiding the planning commission in its early days of operation. Gary Nairn is eminently qualified to do this, having a proven track record in planning and establishing strong relationships across government and the wider community. The composition of the planning commission purposely includes the chairs of three bodies with statutory decision-making powers with regard to development. The inclusion of the chairs of the Development Consent Authority, Heritage Council, and Environment Protection Authority will provide for a greater shared understanding of the aspirations of the planning system in delivering outcomes for Territorians. Clauses 81G to 81J of the bill deal with the duration and conditions of the appointment of members and set out the circumstances under which a member ceases to hold office. Members will be appointed for a term of up to two years and will be eligible for reappointment at the expiry of their term. Clauses 81N to 81Tof the bill relate to the conduct of the commission business. They provide for the commission to meet as often as necessary, but at least four times per year; for the chairperson to preside; for members to appoint another of their number as chair if the chairperson is absent; and for the quorum to be a majority of members with decisions by majority and the casting vote for the chairperson. Commission members and former members are protected from liability if they are acting in good faith carrying out the work of the commission (clause 81Z). Staff and facilities to enable the planning commission to properly perform its functions must be provided by the Chief Executive of the Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment under clause 81E. Staff of the commission will be public servants subject to the direction of the chairperson (clause 81E(2)). To properly carry out its functions the commission will be able to co-opt professional advice on a project-by-project basis, as required. I anticipate that the planning commission will be fully appointed and staffed by the first half of 2013. A starting point for the commission might be the development of a comprehensive long-term plan for the Darwin region that picks up from the Darwin Regional Land Use Structure Plan of 1990 and builds on the discussion paper released in 2010. This body of work will include revisiting greenfields land release, infill and urban renewal sites, strategic industrial land in Darwin Harbour and locations for infrastructures such as a new sea port and general aviation airport in the longer term. The planning commission may also have a role in developing land use plans for major remote towns including Ali Curung, Borroloola, Kalkarindji/ Daguragu, Elliott, Galiwinku, Gapuwiyak, Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Numbulwar, Papunya, Yirrkala and Yuendumu. This bill recognises that the planning commission will be established as an independent body and must perform its functions and exercise its powers independently and impartially, and in the public interest. Clause 81B sets out the functions of the commission, which are to prepare integrated strategic plans, and provide guidelines and assessment criteria for inclusion in the NT Planning Scheme. A secondary role for the commission will be to provide advice to the minister on significant developments. The integrated strategic plans prepared by the planning commission will identify future transport corridors, utility corridors and sites for essential facilities. They will support urban renewal and provide guidance through master plans on where and how communities or urban areas should grow (clause 81K(1). Clause 81K(3) sets out examples of matters the planning commission may include in the master plans. These matters are broad ranging, including