The government’s treatment of the steady stream of clubs wanting to change their concessional leases to allow development has drawn criticism from the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which accuses authorities of not properly considering the public interest.

The planning minister is supposed to ensure the public interest is protected when community groups change their leases, but the tribunal said in a July judgment that all 13 leases “deconcessionalised” since late 2010 had been approved. None had been rejected in the public interest, and planning authorities appeared to have “adopted a formulaic approach, since all the minister’s reasons were couched in roughly similar terms”, it found.

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