The following editorial was published in the Sunday Canberra Times on 28 March 2010. It discusses how recent changes that have been passed through the ACT Legislative Assembly ensure that development applications are automatically approved 120 days after lodgement and the only avenue of appeal is on matters of law through the Supreme Court.
It would appear that this new change to the Act undermines the proposed bill which ACT Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur was going to table (or may have already attempted to table in late 2009) and the community councils agreed to promote recently. The debate has now moved on in a very serious way by the notification of the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill (a very cunningly disguised title) which was notified on 31 March 2010. There are several clauses in this bill which will severely curtail the communites ability to prosecute a planning appeal through ACAT.
The editorial and copy of relevant legislation have been reproduced below:
Canberra Times Editorial:
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Note: copyright of the material in this clipping resides with Fairfax Media. Usage permitted in accordance with the Australian Copyright Act 1968, Section 42: Fair dealing for purpose of reporting news. Source: Sunday Canberra Times – 28 March 2010