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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 388..


Manuka-car parking

MR QUINLAN: My question is to the minister for planning, and I think it is quite appropriate given the Chief Minister's mock indignation of the last few moments and his search for truth. Minister, in case you are considering the standard obfuscation and dissembling, this is not a question about parking policy; it is about deals. Yesterday I asked the following question:

...does your government have a written deal with the developer of the Manuka Plaza to change parking arrangements to force people to use the pay parking in Manuka Plaza?

You responded, according to Hansard:

They are not arrangements I am aware of. I am not aware of any such deal.

Later, when I tabled two copies of related correspondence that had been sent to you, describing them as relevant to the matter about which you knew nothing, you replied:

I said I didn't recognise the letter.

I will repeat the Hansard record of what you initially said:

They are not arrangements I am aware of. I am not aware of any such deal.

Did you, minister, mislead this Assembly yesterday in your response to my question without notice?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I might read the rest of the Hansard. It is curious. It is very easy. What I went on to say was this:

I will take the question. I am the planning minister. We would be delighted to see the letter and the minute. They are not arrangements I am aware of. I am not aware of any such deal.

Mr Quinlan was waving a letter around that, clearly, could not be read from this side of the chamber. We have always made the point that until we see documents that are being referred to in this place, we will take the questions on notice. I started by saying I would take the question on notice.

Mr Quinlan refers to a secret deal. There are some letters. I was able to ascertain later that the letter that he had was a letter from the developer of Manuka Plaza to the Chief Minister, and it was a letter that was copied to me. The letter says that Mr Morris seeks the government to honour its commitment. It does not talk of any secret deals. If arrangements were in place and commitments were made or not made before I became the planning minister, of course I cannot know about them. That is why I said, when I took the question on notice yesterday, that I would ask the department to dig up the official paperwork on it, and as soon as I have got that I will give it to Mr Quinlan.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question?


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