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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 471..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

Is this just an attempt to appease the large section of the community that is very concerned about the environmental impact of any road on Bruce and O'Connor ridges? Is it also not the case, Minister, that you are anyway legally obliged to do a preliminary environmental assessment of this road under appendix II of the Territory Plan, which sets out which types of development, including major roads, require a mandatory preliminary assessment?

MR CORBELL: I do not accept Ms Tucker's assertion that these two things are mutually incompatible. An assessment of environment impact is required, and it is part of the government's election commitment. We will be undertaking that assessment in a way separate from any engineering or other analysis that needs to occur in relation to the development of the western alignment.

It is important to note that there is always the possibility that an environmental impact assessment will rule out certain options. But the experience to date of environmental impact assessment indicates that it will identify the alignment that takes most account of the environmental issues associated with the development of the road. That is the range of issues that the environmental impact assessment will undertake. That work has been commissioned through a consultant.

In relation to the provisions of the Territory Plan and the need for a preliminary assessment, I will need to take some advice from the department on whether or not that is formally triggered, whether there is a need for another preliminary assessment or whether the preliminary assessment already undertaken is sufficient-that is, the preliminary assessment in relation to the work undertaken by the previous government. I will get back to the member on that question.

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, could you give me a copy of the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment? Can you also tell me who is conducting this assessment, what community consultation will be undertaken and whether the assessment will also include an assessment of the duplication of Caswell Drive and the upgrading of Glenloch interchange, which are integral parts of this road project?

MR CORBELL: I will take the question on notice and get the information to the member if at all possible.

Planning

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, might I compliment you on your tie. My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, in your statement to the Assembly on 11 December-in your first fine, careless rapture of government-you urged us to challenge conventional thinking about planning. You said:

I would ask members of the Assembly, especially those who will serve on our committees, to think strategically about planning and how we can achieve the best outcomes for Canberra. It is time to challenge the community, the professions and members of this place about contemporary planning practice and the way in which the Assembly can play its role.


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