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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 146..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

As I say, it is particularly distressing that somebody, unfortunately, has decided to attack the most vulnerable within our community in this way. It is extremely distressing for the residents and extremely distressing for their parents and guardians. I believe that the department has acted appropriately at every stage. It has involved the police from the outset. The police have been advising the department on appropriate security. I have confidence in the steps that the department has taken. This is an extremely serious matter. It is being taken extremely seriously.

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Mr Minister, have there been more break-ins than those reported in the media-namely, 21-since that information was made available? Secondly, could you arrange for the department to give me a private briefing on what steps are being taken in relation to security? Clearly, I do not want you to be telling the Assembly about that, although I am sure that the Assembly would be interested. I do not think that we should be telling the world, either.

MR STANHOPE: I would be more than happy to do that. My advice, as I say, is that there have been 22 such break-ins or burglaries. There have been multiple burglaries at some houses. I am advised that the first of the burglaries occurred in June, that the burglaries proceeded consistently between June and August, and that after 16 August there was a period in which there was a rash of such burglaries. On the last advice I obtained, there has not been a burglary for some time. It was around the period of August-I mentioned the date and the election was in October-that the greatest rash of burglaries occurred. I will ensure that Mr Cornwell is fully briefed on all aspects of the matter.

Dual occupancy

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell, and I refer to the minister's announcement about limiting dual occupancy developments to 5 per cent. Is the minister aware that the government may be liable for compensation claims as a result of the imminent implementation of this policy? What advice has he received on this matter from his department, and would he table that advice for the information of members?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mrs Dunne for the question. I have not received any advice in relation to any legal issues such as those raised in the paper today by the Canberra Property Owners Association, nor have I seen a copy of the Canberra Property Owners Association's advice. I have only had one brief discussion with a representative of the Canberra Property Owners Association, which did not address these issues in any detail.

I am confident that the government's process is a fair and transparent one. We have put in place mechanisms to ensure that people with applications already in the system-or those in the pre-application phase-can have these matters addressed in a timely way. The date we have set for the commencement of the 5 per cent limit is 20 December this year. The reason we have set that date is to allow those people who have actively indicated an interest in completing a dual or triple occupancy to have an opportunity to have their applications assessed and a decision made.


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