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Affordability v. Sustainability??

By johnboy - 24 August 2010 7

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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7 Responses to
Affordability v. Sustainability??
urchin 8:32 pm 24 Aug 10

environment vs affordability is a false opposition. the “affordability” crisis is the product of rampant housing speculation, plain and simple. banks give people heaps of money to bid up houses. the result is that land and houses that have only declined in terms of qualty over the years have seen an unsustainable jump in prices. the gov’t, far from wanting to tame this death spiral that will ultimately result in a US style implosion, has only sought to capitalise on it. drip feeding land at inflated prices to greedy developers who tighten the bottleneck even more, drip feeding shoddy builds on postage stamp lots for 30% markups.

the whole thing is a bloody farce. For the building industry or the gov’t to post the absurd idea that it is environmental concerns that has pushed housing prices up so high is an insult to the intelligence of anyone with a three digit IQ (even if you include a decimal point). seriously, greed has made housing expensive. greed on the part of developers, greed on the part of gov’t and greed on the part of property speculators. if you want a real solution (and very few do) that is where to look.

Deref 4:55 pm 24 Aug 10

p1 said :

The building industry, which is so important for the ACT economy [Read: unlike the environment, which has never done anything good for us] and the jobs of thousands of Canberrans, is telling us that too many developments are needlessly requiring an EIS. [Read: why do a study if you are going to approve them all anyway?] This is causing unnecessary delays particularly for infrastructure works in new suburbs.

This is the same thing the shit me about the “renegotiation” of the mining tax when Ms Gillard seized power. What was there to negotiate? On one hand you have to government who are supposed to look out for the best interests of the majority while protecting minorities, the environment etc. On the other hand you have an industry (mining, construction, whatever) who stand to gain by any relaxation at all, while offering no increase in benefit to the community.

+1 – couldn’t have said it better m’self.

housebound 4:27 pm 24 Aug 10

More concerning is the Greens coming onside so very quickly. I would have thought this would be core Greens values.

Also – I note the timing of this announcement, under the cover of the federal election news, so it is less likely to gain much media coverage.

p1 2:38 pm 24 Aug 10

The building industry, which is so important for the ACT economy [Read: unlike the environment, which has never done anything good for us] and the jobs of thousands of Canberrans, is telling us that too many developments are needlessly requiring an EIS. [Read: why do a study if you are going to approve them all anyway?] This is causing unnecessary delays particularly for infrastructure works in new suburbs.

This is the same thing the shit me about the “renegotiation” of the mining tax when Ms Gillard seized power. What was there to negotiate? On one hand you have to government who are supposed to look out for the best interests of the majority while protecting minorities, the environment etc. On the other hand you have an industry (mining, construction, whatever) who stand to gain by any relaxation at all, while offering no increase in benefit to the community.

54-11 2:25 pm 24 Aug 10

True, true. What’s happened, JB? You’re very serene these days.

johnboy 2:21 pm 24 Aug 10

As if they need telling to do that!

54-11 2:17 pm 24 Aug 10

I despair every time a government caves into intense lobbying from wealthy, self-interested industry groups.

Things like EIS, and all the other checks and balances, were put in place because the industry (whichever it is) could not self-regulate itself, and the government had to step in.

So what will happen? These accountability mechanisms will be removed, in the stated interests of removing “red tape” (but really to allow developers open slather), and of course, developers will soon shit in their own nest again, and prove (if ever it was needed) that they are very poor corporate citizens.

So what will happen? Checks and balances will again be put in place, after the horse has bolted, and we will again have some belated protection against developer depredations, and round and round the cycle goes.

Barr, grow some balls and tell the developers to go procreate with themselves.

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