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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 551..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Let us remember why Mr Smyth called in the development application on the Latham shops. Why did he do that? To speed the process up. When did Mr Smyth call in the development application? He called it in in April last year. What happened between then and when they lost office in October? Absolutely nothing.

In contrast, this government has moved promptly and effectively to address public safety concerns on the eyesore which was the Latham shops. We are now looking forward to redevelopment of the site so that at least some retail facilities are made available for residents of Latham in the future.

MR HARGREAVES: I have a supplementary question. What action has the government taken to expedite development on that site?

MR CORBELL: That is the other important element of this discussion. When Mr Smyth, as the former minister, called in the development application, contingent on the call-in and the ability to proceed with the development was the sale of some small parcels of government land around the local centre, by direct grant process.

What did the previous government do, between April and October last year, to expedite the sale so developmental activity could commence? They did absolutely nothing, Mr Speaker. They sat on their hands. Mr Smyth sat on his hands. He was very keen to use the call-in power but not so keen to actually do the things he committed the previous government to do in relation to the sale of land.

I am, again, pleased to advise members that the new government has expedited that process. The offer of land was made to the lessee last Monday or Tuesday.

Mr Smyth: The work was already being done. It is disingenuous, and you know it.

MR CORBELL: That land allows the development to proceed. Mr Smyth calls it disingenuous. Mr Smyth, I call your actions just plain lazy.

Skateboarding

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. As the minister may be aware, there is now a proliferation of small and sometimes very sharp metal devices attached to structures throughout Civic, seemingly with the purpose of deterring skateboarders. As the minister responsible for the public spaces throughout Civic, can you please inform the Assembly how many skateboard deterrent devices have been put in place throughout Civic and if any more are scheduled to be put in place throughout Canberra? Do you have any information to show they are actually a deterrent to skateboarders?

MR WOOD: The minister might direct most of that question to my predecessor, although I say I haven't to date had any objections to those little devices to inhibit skateboarders. In fact, I haven't heard any criticism of those devices until this moment. If Ms Dundas wants to give me some more detail about the problems that they may be causing, I would be interested to hear them. I have certainly, as I moved through Civic, heard the complaints of shop owners and diners about the actions of skateboarders. To them I have some sympathy, I might say.


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