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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2673..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

matter. If those people opposite want to run around pretending that they have uncovered secret agreements and people being coerced into taking AWAs they do not wish to take, they might care to produce such people. I am sure that someone behind all the information flooding into your office, Mr Berry, would be happy to say, "Yes, I was coerced into signing an AWA."

Mr Corbell: Be careful what you wish for, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: Do you have any names? Anybody? I think that speaks volumes in itself, Mr Speaker.

Gungahlin Drive extension

MR KAINE: My question is to Mr Hird in his role as the non-partisan chairman of the Planning and Urban Services Committee. We know that it is an important and busy committee, undertaking as it does:

... a huge workload of inquiring into, reporting and recommending to the Assembly on many of the issues that affect your family and every other member of the community. Issues such as roads, freeways, street lighting, trees, planning, changes to the Territory Plan, buses, taxis even nature strips, kerb and guttering-all come within the ambit of the Planning and Urban Services Committee.

We know that, Mr Speaker, because I was quoting from what appears to be a form letter signed by Mr Hird and sent to voters in his electorate. We know that that is right because he says so. Of particular interest to me in this letter from the impartial, unbiased, independent, unprejudiced, open-minded and even-handed, not to mention fair, chairman of the Planning and Urban Services Committee is the following statement in his letter to constituents:

I am now seeking your support to ensure that one of those important issues-the Gungahlin Drive Extension-goes ahead. I urge you to sign the enclosed petition calling for the passage of the Planning and Urban Services Report,-

I presume that by that he means the one relating to the Gungahlin Drive extension, Mr Speaker, which is a controversial issue-

to seek other signatures, and return the petition to me as soon as possible so that I can present it to the Assembly.

That was from a so-called non-partisan committee chair. Mr Hird, how, as an impartial, unbiased, open-minded, even-handed and fair committee chair, do you justify openly pushing to the community the position of one element of this controversial issue at the expense of another?

MR HIRD: I thank Mr Kaine for being my campaign director on this issue; I could not put it better myself. The fact is, just by surprise, that the electorate of Ginninderra happens to be very important and dear to my heart, as I am sure that the electorate of Brindabella will be very important and dear to Mr Kaine's heart if he gets re-elected. The fact is that a member needs to build a bridge between himself or herself and his or her


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