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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3839..

Relocation of Streetlight

MR KAINE: My question to the Minister for Urban Services is a follow - up to a question the minister answered on Tuesday about the relocation of a streetlight in Quiros Street, Red Hill. Amongst other things, the minister informed me that neighbours were consulted and their agreement was obtained prior to the streetlight being relocated. Then he told me that the estimated cost of the work was $365,000. When the neighbours were consulted and gave their agreement, was it with the knowledge and the clear understanding that it was going to cost nearly $400,000 of public money to effect the change?

MR SMYTH: I did give that further information to Mr Kaine yesterday. It is correct that the cost is $365,000. I spoke to the head of Actew about this matter yesterday. He said that where somebody thinks their lifestyle is affected by a streetlight it is standard practice for an assessment to be done and, if it is agreed to, to move the light pole.

MR KAINE: That was an interesting response from the minister, but it did not answer my question. In answering my supplementary question, the minister might also answer the original question. I will remind him what it was if he does not remember. My supplementary question is: who would normally approve the removal or relocation of a light post because of light spillage nuisance? In this case was the approval given by that person or by someone, shall we say, at a higher level in the hierarchy?

MR SMYTH: I understand that consultation was carried out. I could not say whether or not the cost of moving such a light was discussed during the consultation. I was not there. I will have to find out for the member who approved the project.

Proposed New Remand Centre

MR WOOD: My question is to Mr Humphries and is about the remand centre. I understand that a community advisory panel was established, comprising knowledgeable citizens, to advise the government on issues around the new correction and remand centre. I understand also that the group completed its report to you only this week. Did you give them the opportunity to comment on your fast - tracked remand centre or did you have the opportunity to consider their report, if you had received it? Indeed, what consultation on the fast - tracked centre did you have with the committee you established to do that with and what was its comment?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have not received the report of the panel. I am aware that it is virtually ready. I am told that it is about to arrive on my desk. Given that the most recent escape at the remand centre took place only at the beginning of last week, it would have been improper to have frustrated one or the other process by virtue of the need to have further consultation about that matter.

I realise that consultation is the mantra of this place and that we always should have more consultation rather than less, but the fact is that the government was facing a situation where the facilities in the ACT were demonstrated yet again to be insecure and our obligation to the citizens of this community to make sure that we have secure facilities in which to house our remandees demanded that we take some steps to deal

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