Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2937..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
will actually see that 10 meetings were cancelled for various reasons. Three of those were me, and the other seven were other members of the committee.
The point I am trying to make here is that we have a heavy workload in the committees, and on occasions not all members of the committees are available. This is not just about people on the crossbench. We need to respect the workload that we are under in this place, and that was the intent of my motion-to try to facilitate committee work-and I am surprised at the response, particularly from the Labor Party. This is something that was intended to just assist committees and, for reasons which have not been made really clear from the arguments that have been put, it has been opposed by Labor. I am glad to see it supported, but I repeat: I am quite happy, if members of this place think it has been abused and can demonstrate that it has, for the Administration and Procedure Committee to look at it at a later date.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Territory Plan-draft variation 200
MRS DUNNE (11.50): I move:
That the Government withdraw Draft Variation 200 to allow further consultation and discussion on its implications, especially in relation to the future size and nature of Canberra and its relationship to other strategic documents, notably the Spatial Plan, the Social Plan and the Economic White Paper.
Let me preface my remarks with a disclaimer of sorts: I do not disagree with the basic thrust of draft variation 200. Let me make that perfectly clear. I do not disagree with the basic thrust of draft variation 200. In fact, I support much of what it sets out to do. It purports to be about, in part, densification and urban consolidation. This is an argument and a discussion the people of Canberra need to have now and continue to have in the future.
However, I have difficulty with the process we are dealing with in draft variation 200. It seems to me that it is out of sync with the overall strategic direction this government is trying to take, and this is the impetus for this motion today.
I am the first to agree that we need to have a strategic plan. I know that Mr Corbell is committed to it and that there is broad agreement in the community. I imagine that anyone who has an interest in the future planning of this territory thinks similarly. This view was reinforced and in many ways kicked off by the document Urban Renaissance: Canberra: a Sustainable Future, a report of the OECD.
Unfortunately, that report has hardly seen the light of day since it was launched. I am concerned at that, because it has a wealth of information in it. We hear it referred to from time to time by the minister, but only to say one thing-that the ACT needs a strategic plan. I hope that the government's treatment of this document does not cause it to die a natural death. I hope that the government is being open and taking the people of Canberra into its confidence and talking about this document, because it says some great things about Canberra. It is not all doom and gloom. I have a fear that the minister would