Le Couteur: Canberra’s planning system is ‘broken’

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Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur.

THE ACT Greens is calling for deliberately false or misleading development applications (DAs) to be rejected immediately after developers continue to mislead the public about the developments going up in their neighbourhoods. 

The party will be taking a bill on the matter to the Legislative Assembly later this month, but in the meantime, Greens spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur is urging other parties to support it.

“We need the other parties in the Assembly to demonstrate their commitment to fixing Canberra’s broken planning system, by backing this bill when it comes before the Assembly later this month,” she says. 

“Canberrans have a right to know how local developments will affect them, their families, and their community. 

“Too often we’re seeing cases where developers put in DAs that include deliberately false and misleading information.”

In recent years, Ms Le Couteur says one prominent proposal for Garema Place went to pains to showcase how much solar access there would be in the public development – except the plans had the sun shining from the south, as opposed to the east.

“This is seriously basic stuff – basic stuff that you’d want developers to be across, before they go about building,” she says. 

“Where the government suspects that false and misleading information has been included in a DA, we’re proposing that these DAs be rejected outright. 

“Developers should have more regard for the community than wasting their time with development applications that don’t include the right information. Developers should be forced back to the drawing board before any real consideration is given by the community, and the government, to these kinds of proposals.”


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  1. Here we have a situation that is purely related to the election cycle. While others have commented with greater authority on this subject in recent weeks, we have a situation in two areas of Canberra where a certain Canberra based developer is seeking extreme variations to normal planning parameters.

    What worries me is this will be ignored by the Greens again in lieu of redirection acts like this.

    Canberra is far from being a better place after all these years of Greens acting as enablers to development for the sake of revenue.

  2. Caroline has been part of the government for a long time now, why did it take so long for her to come up with this?

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