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Australian Government announces review of the National Capital Plan

THE Australian Government last week announced plans to streamline planning and cut red tape across the ACT through review of the National Capital Plan.

In a joint statement, Australian Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs said the Federal Government is committed to driving growth across the region and striking the right balance between the planning responsibilities of the National Capital Authority (NCA) and the ACT Government.

"Duplication in planning can increase the cost of housing by delaying the rollout of new subdivisions. Changes to the National Capital Plan would remove these significant hurdles," he said.

Black Mountain, Canberra
Photo: Black Mountain, Canberra / by Prescott Pym.

"Updates to the National Capital Plan will ensure the ACT Government is able to provide for Canberra's growth while increasing the Australian Government's focus on promoting and protecting the national character of Canberra."

Senator for the Australian Capital Territory Zed Seselja, a long term advocate for the reforms, welcomed the proposed changes.

"A more streamlined planning arrangement will allow the NCA to focus on its core function—to promote Canberra and maintain and enhance the Parliamentary Triangle and other nationally significant sites, which form the heart of our National Capital," Mr Briggs and Senator Seselja said in the statement.

"The proposed changes represent a common sense approach, and will allow the ACT Government to get on with day-to-day planning for Canberra's long-term growth and economic development."

According to the government, it is the first time the NCA has reviewed the Plan in full since it was first developed in 1988. The National Capital Authority (NCA) administers the Plan on behalf of the Commonwealth and has prepared an Exposure Draft of a revised Plan intended for public consultation.

The Exposure Draft will be used to open a conversation with the ACT Government and the community on the way planning can be undertaken more efficiently in the National Capital.

The Exposure Draft will be released for public comment in June 2015. Further information on the review and consultation process is available on the NCA website at <http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/>.

Photo: Black Mountain, Canberra / 'Tall Tower, Long Shadow' / Prescott Pym / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0.

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