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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1015..


MR SPEAKER: According to standing order 118 (a), the answer to a question without notice shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question. It was a broad-ranging question, so I rather suspected you would end up with a broad-ranging answer. So far, I do not think he has drifted off the subject of the budget.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, in answer to the first question, I pointed out that I was talking in "the band"-at the edge, at the margin. That is a term used in economics. That can be at the margin of everything. Some things can be at the margin and some are not. When I made the first statement, I did not have with me a book of all the items, all the expenditure lines, of the territory that were included, as you well know. So, as I said, it was a dumb question to start with. I have to say that the supplementary is consistent with the original question. It was a non-question.

Statesman Hotel-redevelopment

MRS CROSS: My question is to Mr Corbell as the Minister for Planning. On Wednesday, 27 March, some 350 people attended a privately organised public meeting in Curtin to hear proposals from prospective redevelopers about intentions for the Statesman Hotel-Motel. Does your silence to date on this proposal, which has alarmed residents, indicate sympathy with the redevelopment plans, or is this just another anxiety-causing by-product of the uneasy hiatus you have created with your neighbourhood planning process?

MR CORBELL: It means that no formal proposal has been presented to the government. No formal proposal has been presented to PALM. I am simply not in a position to comment on the detail of the proposal. As far as I know and as I am advised, it simply means that a lessee in the Curtin area-I understand the lessee of the Statesman Hotel-is putting together a proposal for a significant redevelopment of the Curtin shops. I have some significant concerns with some of the issues that have been raised by that developer, particularly in relation to the height and density of buildings. But these are matters which should be appropriately addressed when more detail is at hand, so that the government can take a considered approach.

This is in stark contrast to the approach adopted by the chair of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment, Mrs Dunne. Mrs Dunne seems to be taking a very hypocritical approach to her role as chair of the Planning and Environment Committee. The key issue is that you have to practise what you preach. Mrs Dunne, in an article in the Canberra Times on Wednesday, 30 January this year, said:

I would like to draw back and say with every draft variation that comes before us, first and foremost, is it in the best interests of the territory to change the use of this land?

She went on to say that she wanted to see a more dispassionate and balanced approach to considering planning issues in the territory. If that is the way she wants to conduct herself as chair of the Planning and Environment Committee, that is great. That is fine by me. I do not mind how she does it, as long as she does it consistently.


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