The Property Council of Australia has welcomed early action by the ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, to implement the proposal by Dr Allan Hawke AC to establish a single agency of nine directorates as the single basis of the ACT public service (ACTPS).
Property Council ACT Executive Director, Catherine Carter, said: “The Property Council welcomed the release of the report Governing the City State – One ACT Public Service, prepared by Dr Hawke, which we believe provides a thorough analysis of problems and opportunities for reform of the ACTPS.
“The Property Council agrees that the traditional hierarchical and bureaucratic ways of working have hindered the capacity of the ACTPS to be agile and flexible in its responses to emerging issues, and have acted as barriers to innovation.
“We now see a strong opportunity for the ACT Government to reduce fragmentation, duplication and unnecessary bureaucracy.
“We support the establishment of the Economic Development Directorate and the Sustainable Development Directorate and the alignment of effort through central coordination reporting to a single chief executive and a Strategic Board.
“With respect to planning, there are still a number of matters to be resolved, mainly arising from the potential for confusion and conflict in the roles of the two directorates. For example, ACTPLA responsibilities include the planning and regulation of land development and making decisions on applications for approval for development.
“Questions now arise as to how decisions will be made in the assessment of development applications and how the different views and perspectives of the agencies within directorates resolved. It is also unclear at this stage who will be responsible for decisions to sell land, actual control of land sales, planning and development, building approval and revenue structure.
“To date the ACT Government has shown itself very open to thoughtful discussions on these matters, and given recent action taken by the Chief Minister, we are confident that these issues will be resolved in order to meet the 1 July commencement date for the new ACTPS structure.
“The Property Council looks forward to continuing to work with government to ensure that the new structure works from both an internal perspective and for the users of ACT government services, to achieve better service delivery for the whole community,” Ms Carter concluded.
For further information contact:
Catherine Carter, Executive Director, 02 6248 6902 or 0412 330 079