Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2624..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
We do not have confidence that he knows best. At the very least, we would like to see this Assembly given the opportunity to scrutinise decisions taken by the minister.
If the minister is going to use power in this way, it is quite appropriate that the whole parliament has a chance to have a say. Mr Smyth said it is okay if we have a debate but we cannot have the right of veto. In other words, we are allowed to talk about it and the majority of members of this parliament can be absolutely appalled. But whether it is a call-in power to reject a development or approve it, the point is the same: there is no real difference between rejecting or calling in to approve an application. So if the minister chooses to call in a development in order to reject or approve it, it is perfectly reasonable that the Assembly be given the opportunity to not just debate that decision but, if it is the will of the Assembly, veto it.
Members of this place supposedly are here to represent the community of the ACT. Members should be given the opportunity to decide whether there are legitimate concerns or problems with the decision taken by the minister of the day. My experience in this place has been that members of the community do not go to the trouble of objecting to applications unless there is a good reason for doing so. I respect the fact that most people who object to developments have good reason for doing so and have thought it out. It is not an easy path to take anyway. I think most people in this place know how much work it takes to successfully lodge appeals and follow the process through. So I think it is the role of the Assembly to represent the community in this instance. For that reason, it is quite appropriate that we should be able to make such decisions of the minister of the day disallowable.
If Mr Corbell as planning minister uses his powers in an appropriate way, it will not be a problem. You will not have objections. You will have people looking at it and agreeing. What is the problem with that? I think it is pretty sad that this Assembly is not going to support my legislation. I will wait till the next Assembly to raise the matter again, particularly if this process is being continually abused, as it has been by Brendan Smyth.
That Ms Tucker's motion be agreed to.
The Assembly voted-
Ayes, 3 Noes, 13 Mr Kaine Mr Berry Mr Moore Mr Rugendyke Mrs Burke Mr Quinlan Ms Tucker Mr Corbell Mr Smyth Mr Cornwell Mr Stanhope Mr Hargreaves Mr Stefaniak Mr Hird Mr Wood Mr HumphriesQuestion so resolved in the negative.