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 234 housing, transportation, economic development, the environment, open space and conservation. It is clear from this list that government expects the planning commission to take an integrated approach to strategic planning. The strategic plans developed by the planning commission may give rise to amendments to the NT Planning Scheme under Part 2 of the Planning Act. This will ensure there is better integration of strategic planning policies with the NT Planning Scheme. This addresses an area of need previously highlighted by the Property Council of Australia in their 2010 and 2012 Development Assessment Report Cards. Clause 13B requires that the minister must follow the usual procedures under Part 2 of the Planning Act when dealing with amendments to the NT Planning Scheme requested by the planning commission. This includes the requirement to put planning scheme amendments on exhibition, giving notice to local authorities and holding reporting-body hearings. This ensures transparency surrounding the work of the commission. Additionally, clause 81Y of the bill requires the commission to make an annual report to parliament, further enhancing the transparent operation of the commission. Clause 81B(d) requires the planning commission to carry out community consultation in the development of strategic plans and guidelines. It is the intention that there will be engagement with the community early in the planning process and that Territorians will have a strong voice in how their community develops. Better and more effective community participation at a strategic level enables the community to participate in formulating a vision for a region or subregions. This provides for simpler and more focused community involvement in later stages of the planning process. The strategic plans developed by the planning commission will provide a better context for the individual planning and development decisions during the development consent process. A secondary role of the commission is to provide advice to the minister about the strategic implications of proposed significant developments. A significant development is defined in section 50A as one where the development may have a significant impact on strategic planning and land use of the Territory; or, where the carrying out of the development or subsequent use of land may have a significant impact on the natural environment or existing amenity. This impact is not confined to the land upon which the proposed activity will take place but includes adjoining land, and other areas of land that might be affected because of the development, such as areas downstream of the development. For developments identified as being significant, the planning commission is required to provide a written report to the minister about the development. The report may deal with the strategic planning implications of the proposal and Crown land that may be suitable for the proposal. It is anticipated that in the great majority of cases the planning commission will provide its report to the minister well before a development application is lodged. As such, intersection of the planning commissions role in significant developments with the development consent process will be minimal. However, if the commission has not given the minister a report on a significant development prior to a development application being lodged, the Development Consent Authority must bring the application to the attention of the minister. The minister will decide whether the proposed development is a significant development and, if necessary, request the planning commission to provide a report on the significant development. This report may, in turn, be provided to the Development Consent Authority and must be considered by them when determining the development application. In line with the existing provisions within section 85(3) of the Planning Act, the minister may direct the Development Consent Authority at any time before an application is determined, that the minister is the consent authority for a particular development application. The minister may also be the consent authority for an application of a division if the Development Consent Authority is not established in relation to the area of land in which the development proposal relates. If the minister is the consent authority for the development, then he must take into account the commissions report when considering the development application under Division 3. If the minister makes a determination contrary to the commissions report, he must table the reasons why in the Legislative Assembly within six sitting days of making the determination. This demonstrates governments commitment to transparency in its dealings with the planning commission. To ensure there is no conflict of interest for the Chairman of the Development Consent Authority, clause 81M(1) states that the Chairman of the Development Consent Authority must not take any part in the commissions consideration of a significant development proposal or the preparation of a significant development report in relation to the proposal, unless the proposal