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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4403..


MRS CROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, 91 per cent is an overwhelming indication of the numbers against the present design. Given that Gungahlin has poor mobile phone reception and almost non-existent sustainable transport options, isn't the government in danger of perhaps not looking at and listening to what Gungahlin residents really want and letting them turn into second-class citizens?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, as I have already indicated to Mrs Cross, the government is paying close attention to the results of that survey. The survey is self-initiated, so those who were interested replied. I would be interested to understand the scientific basis on which the survey was conducted to make sure that it is indeed a representative sample. Of course, you have to remember that there are over 20,000 residents in Gungahlin. Seven hundred respondents is nevertheless a significant number, but I don't think you could in any way claim that it is representative of the overwhelming majority of views of residents in Gungahlin. We just don't know, because we haven't sought to survey all of those people.

Mr Speaker, that said, we have to look at the processes that have been conducted to date to deliver a town centre which met the expectations of the community when the planning was done. People said they didn't want a mall and that is why there is not a mall in Gungahlin. But if Gungahlin residents are saying this is an issue of concern, then the government is very open to responding to those issues. That is why I have sought advise from Planning and Land Management and the Gungahlin Development Authority. I will be responding in due course to the Gungahlin Community Council, outlining the government's response to their survey and identifying if there are issues that need to be further addressed.

Qualification of financial statements by Auditor-General

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Corbell. Minister, given the findings of the Auditor-General's Report No 7 of 2002, do you still believe, as you stated in this place on 30 June 1999, that "the illegal expenditure of $9.7 million"is not, and cannot be, "a technical and minor matter"?

MR CORBELL: I think I share the views of the Chief Minister on that matter, Mr Speaker.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, on what date did you become aware of the urgent need for $10 million for fire safety maintenance for public housing? Was this unexpected?

MR CORBELL: I think the Chief Minister had already adequately addressed the second part of that question. I think it is very clear in the advice that Mr Thompson provided to the then Under Treasurer that the government was exposed to a potentially very serious


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