Andrew Barr is asking for your thoughts on the draft Planning and Development (Environmental Impact Statements) Amendment Bill 2010 (Explanatory Guide also available).
ACTPLA describes the bill thusly:
The draft bill is designed to refine the triggers for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to ensure that the highest level of environmental assessment required for an EIS applies only where a development will have a significant environmental impact. This is consistent with the existing approach of the Planning and Development Act, which is to match the level of environmental assessment to the scale, complexity and likely impact of a proposed development.
The draft bill will mean that infrastructure works in new suburbs that have limited or no environmental impact can get off the ground sooner.
Andrew had this to say:
The building industry, which is so important for the ACT economy and the jobs of thousands of Canberrans, is telling us that too many developments are needlessly requiring an EIS. This is causing unnecessary delays particularly for infrastructure works in new suburbs.
If we are to keep our economy strong, make housing in Canberra more affordable and keep Canberrans in jobs, we need to ensure that new suburbs are developed in a sustainable way and that land is released as fast as possible. This draft bill aims to deliver this.
It sounds like the environment is being taken behind the woodshed with an axe handle.
Comments on the legislation close 17 September.