Minister Corbell and ESDD back down on TA2013-12

January 13, 2014

in Past Issues

Minister Corbel has written to Minister Rattenbury indicating that ESDD does not intend to procede with the proposed changes to the definition of “northern boundary” as proposed in Technical Amendment 2013-12 (TA2013-12).  This Technical Amendment proposed to introduce a number of changes to the recently introduced Variation 306.  The change to northern boundary was one of the most controversial elements of the changes proposed, and had drawn adverse comments from a number of groups and individuals.  These ranged from considered opposition to the policy basis for the change to objections that the proposed change was meaningless nonsense, as ESDD had drafted a legal instrument using a mathematical formulation and had gotten their maths nomenclature wrong.  Some of us taxpayers believe that if ESDD must draft legislation, its officers should go to the trouble of drafting it right!  Minister Rattenbury was one of those who objected to the Technical Amendment, and his letter to Mr Corbell can be read here.  Minister Corbell’s response to Mr Rattenbury can be read here.

The GNCA, along with many other groups and individuals, consider that it is entirely inappropriate to use a Technical Amendment (which is a document prepared and Gazetted by ESDD without any scrutiny by the Assembly) to modify a variation to the Territory Plan.  Any change to a Variation is in effect another variation to the Territory Plan.  We appreciate that such modifications to the Plan can be time consuming and labourious, but maybe the need to convince a large number of people that what one wishes to change is in the public interest is what democracy is all about.  We are disappointed that Minister Corbell’s letter does not concede that this has been an inappropriate use of a Technical Amendment, but hope that ESDD has learned a lesson.


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