Back in November the Greens were furious about Government efforts to end planning appeals to Kingston Foreshore developments. They were concerned the moves would limit their ability to get involved in the Kingston Arts Precinct.
Yesterday it appears a compromise was reached which, unusually, pleased all parties.
First the Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur was happy, with some caveats:
The ACT Greens have welcomed both the Liberal and Labor parties accepting the need for community appeals in the Kingston arts precinct, but were disappointed they failed to restore the rights for Kingston developments overall.
The Assembly has today voted for a motion tabled by Greens Planning spokesperson, Caroline Le Couteur, to disallow a planning regulation which exempts Kingston Foreshore precinct from any 3rdparty appeals, but only after an amendment which restricts the appeal rights to the Kingston Arts Precinct.
“Sadly, the Liberal and Labor parties while removing the arts precinct from the regulation, would not support the principle that all residents should have the right to appeal,” Ms Le Couteur said.
“It is a positive step that local residents will now have appeal rights for the arts precinct.
The Liberals’ also saw it as a good step, allowing them to keep their oar in with the arts precinct:
“A motion of the Greens to disallow the regulation in full might have failed, thus locking the community out of the arts precinct, but for an amendment that I proposed, simply to exclude the arts precinct from the regulation.
“The government supported my amendment, showing once again that this government is a follower and not a leader in our community.
“The Greens did not support the amendment, showing not only their selfish pride over their motion, but their hypocrisy over the whole Kingston arts precinct issue.
“In the end, the preservation of appeals for the Kingston arts precinct is a good win for the community, because it preserves the right of the community to have a say as to the way the assets it owns should be used,” said Mrs Dunne.
And even Simon Corbell was pleased with developments:
An attempt by the Greens to disallow the planning regulation made by Mr Corbell in October last year was defeated in the Assembly today. However, an amendment was made to the disallowance motion, which would restore third party appeal rights to any future development in the cultural precinct.
“This is a sensible compromise to allow development to proceed while allowing administrative review of decisions about development within the arts precinct,” he said.
“The Government was pleased to support this compromise on that basis.”
Mr Corbell said it was essential to maintain certainty for major developments in the Kingston Foreshore precinct.
Partial disallowance of a regulation seems like a legislative novelty to this observer, but let’s leave that one for the courts.
Perhaps of more concern is just what sort of Arts precinct can be built, in an area artists can’t afford to live, with all parties in the Assembly getting a say in how it gets built.