Dear Community Council Representatives
To recap, the bill promotes the two key concepts identified in December: being able to lodge a development application in anticipation of a draft territory plan variation and being able to lodge the DA with a draft environmental impact statement. It also allows a variant of each of these concepts by allowing a DA to be lodged if the draft territory plan variation has already been notified and where a DA that needs an environmental assessment the proponent will be able submit an application with the DA seeking agreement to use a prior environmental study. The ability to seek concurrent consideration and notification of a territory plan variation, an EIS if triggered and a DA will be available as an option for proponents.
This means that members of the community will be able to see just exactly how a draft territory plan can be used and how the proposed development may impact on the environment. Aside from bringing together planning processes for the purposes of notification, and allowing assessment work to commence on the DA, the bill does not change how these processes work.
In December we indicated that the bill was anticipated to be introduced in March 2016, it was, and that debate was anticipated for the May Sittings. Between December and now and following further stakeholder briefings, feedback on the bill has been positive. The Government is now proposing to debate the bill in the April Sittings next week.
Copies of the bill and the explanatory statement are available here.