THE Australian Government has announced plans to streamline planning and cut red tape across the ACT through a review of the National Capital Plan.
Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs and our own ACT Senator Zed Seselja said the Government is committed to driving growth across the region and striking the right balance between the planning responsibilities of the National Capital Authority (NCA) and the ACT Government.
“Duplication in planning can increase the cost of housing by delaying the rollout of new subdivisions. Changes to the National Capital Plan would remove these significant hurdles,” They said.
“Updates to the National Capital Plan will ensure the ACT Government is able to provide for Canberra’s growth while increasing the Australian Government’s focus on promoting and protecting the national character of Canberra.”
Zed, a long term advocate for these reforms, has welcomed the proposed changes.
“A more streamlined planning arrangement will allow the NCA to focus on its core function – to promote Canberra and maintain and enhance the Parliamentary Triangle and other nationally significant sites, which form the heart of our National Capital,” Zed said.
“The proposed changes represent a common sense approach, and will allow the ACT Government to get on with day-to-day planning for Canberra’s long-term growth and economic development.
“This is the first time the NCA has reviewed the Plan in full since it was first developed in 1988.”
The National Capital Authority (NCA) administers the Plan on behalf of the Commonwealth and has prepared an Exposure Draft of a revised Plan intended for public consultation.
The Exposure Draft will be used to open a conversation with the ACT Government and Canberra community on the way planning can be undertaken more efficiently in the National Capital.
The Exposure Draft will be released for public comment in June 2015. Further information on the review and consultation process is available on the NCA website nationalcapital.gov.au.
UPDATE: The Property Council are concerned that the ACT Government will be harder to deal with than the NCA:
Proposed changes to the National Capital Plan must deliver better planning outcomes for Canberra, says the Property Council of Australia.
The Australian Government has agreed to a proposal to limit the National Capital Authority’s (NCA’s) planning power in parts of Canberra.
The Government has said the proposed changes, which would curtail the NCA’s control over the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee River corridors, Namadgi National Park and the Tuggeranong Valley, would streamline planning and cut red tape.
“While we welcome any decision which removes unnecessary duplication, any changes to the National Capital Plan must ensure that the world-class outcomes currently being achieved by the National Capital Authority can be delivered by the ACT Government,” says the Property Council’s Executive Director ACT, Catherine Carter.
“The NCA planning assessment process is far more streamlined and more efficient than that currently managed by the ACT Government’s Environment & Planning Directorate. As a result, the NCA has delivered demonstrably superior outcomes, such as the internationally-acclaimed and award-winning NewActon precinct,” Ms Carter explains.
This is the first review of the National Capital Plan since it was developed in 1988. The NCA administers the Plan on behalf of the Australian Government, and has prepared an Exposure Draft of a revised Plan, which will be presented to the ACT Government and the community for consultation.
“Should this change proceed, it will be essential that we retain the level of skills and expertise currently on offer within the NCA – and for the ACT Government to lift its game to achieve the world-class planning outcomes Canberrans need and deserve,” Ms Carter concludes.