This week the ACT Legislative Assembly has passed the Urban Forest Bill 2022.
The Government has said:
The MBA has raised concerns about the mixed messages this legislation sends about future development. On the one hand Government policy is encouraging 70% of new development within the existing urban footprint, however this legislation seeks to protect potential development areas by retaining existing trees or requiring payment of a fee to remove them.
We believe a better way of managing these issues would be through design guidelines or development codes in the new Territory Plan. We remain concerned that this legislation establishes an approval process to remove trees which will sit outside of the development approval process resulting in an un-integrated assessment process.
We welcome the delayed commencement for the new legislation, which means it will come into effect on 1 January 2024. This will allow time for the Government to work with the community and industry to raise awareness of what is changing under the new legislation and how it affects residents and businesses as well as building a new IT system to implement the reform.
This revised commencement date also responds to feedback (including from Master Builders ACT) on the Bill from the Inquiry Report into the Urban Forest Bill 2022 by the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services.
The key changes introduced by this Bill include:
To view the Urban Forest Bill 2022 visit Urban Forest Bill 2022 | Bills (act.gov.au)