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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2148..


Ms McRae: Is the Government on strike today?

Mr Moore: We have not seen too many Government members in here, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: There are two Government members and two Opposition members here so it is pretty well balanced, I think. Don't you, Ms McRae?

MR SPEAKER: It is not the Government's responsibility to provide a quorum. It is the Assembly's. I have said that repeatedly.

(Quorum formed)

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think some members of this place should go and look at the Federal Parliament and see how often quorums are present while debates go on there. They would be rather - - -

Mr Moore: Wait till they get a minority government and then go and watch. Have a look at the Senate, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: The Senate is no different. I have worked in the Senate. It is no different, I tell you. Mr Speaker, let me continue my remarks, now that there are more people to hear, by saying that I think the problem in this area is that, with great respect to the Greens, they do not understand the way in which - - -

Ms Tucker: Oh, not that line again.

MR HUMPHRIES: This is a claim often made about us. We are often told that we do not understand something. With great respect, if there is an area that the Greens do not understand in this place I think it is the nature of the planning system and the way the Territory Plan, particularly, works. B1 is, essentially, a zone created along that critical spine along Northbourne Avenue to acknowledge the fact that it is a different part of Canberra from other areas of the city and deserves different planning treatment. It seems to me completely untenable to argue - I do not think Ms Tucker actually mounted the argument - that there is a case against having a different special treatment for that sensitive part of the city. It would be like saying that we should have the same planning requirements applying to areas immediately adjacent to Lake Burley Griffin as to areas in the middle of Florey or Wanniassa. The argument is just patent nonsense. B1 is separately zoned and has its own guidelines because it is an area of clear planning and environmental significance. It ought, logically, to have its own guidelines. Those guidelines and the zone itself were established as part of the Territory Plan back in 1991, or whenever it was, against a background of community concerns about housing diversity, access to transport and services, the ecological and financial implications of greenfields land subdivision as the only method of land supply, and housing supply. There was a desire to see, at least on the part of the planners, a separate treatment of that area of Canberra in order to promote important values as part of the Territory Plan and its process.


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