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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 35..


MRS CROSS (continuing):

profile, as the minister claimed in his media release of 6 February. Why did the minister originally invoke regulation 12 of the Land (Planning and Environment) Regulation 1992 when it was apparent that Karralika was not a confidential facility?

MR CORBELL: Mrs Cross does not appear to have read the regulation. If she had she would be aware that the regulation does not refer to a confidential facility; rather it refers to the provision of confidential services. Clearly, confidential and sensitive services such as those provided at a drug rehabilitation facility would fall within the meaning of the act and the regulations. In the circumstances I still believe it was appropriate. Fadden and Macarthur residents know where the Karralika facility is located. They live in those suburbs, they drive up and down the street every day and they know where it is located. I have received many letters in my office but only a number of them have indicated that some residents in Fadden and Macarthur did not know what Karralika was and what services it provided. So it certainly was a discreet and low-profile service.

The government has put in place a process to respond to that level of concern in the community. We want to try to allay fears that Karralika is some sort of drug jail-which is the unfortunate language that has been used by some media proponents. Karralika is not a drug jail; it is a drug rehabilitation facility. People are not sent to that centre and forcibly confined to it. People who have detoxified and who are going into that facility are seeking to rebuild their lives and life skills. They are seeking to obtain the confidence that they need to once again become part of the community.

Karralika has been placed in a suburban setting in an attempt to enable people to adjust to a more regularised and consistent pattern of living in a suburban rather than an institutional context. We do not want such facility located in the middle of nowhere. It was important to establish a facility such as Karralika within a suburban setting. I believe that I have appropriately exercised regulation 12. As I indicated earlier, if Mrs Cross had read that regulation she would be aware that it refers to the provision of confidential services, not a confidential facility, per se.

MRS CROSS: I ask a supplementary question. The minister decided recently not to use regulation 12. Was that an admission that he incorrectly invoked that regulation in the first place? What is the minister's definition of the words "consultation"and "trees", given that his definition has confused residents of the Karralika action group?

MR CORBELL: I do not believe that the changed process is an admission on my part that the regulation has been exercised incorrectly. I worked with my Labor colleagues in Brindabella to find a sensible and rational, rather than a hysterical, way forward. Unfortunately that has been the approach of some members of the Assembly and others. I responded to a level of community concern that, in some respects, was based on misinformation. That needed to be addressed rationally. A comprehensive process is now in place. I am happy to fully outline that process for the benefit of Assembly members.

I refer to the member's reference to the words "trees"and "consultation". Following my meeting with the Karralika action group I saw the release and read the comments of that group in relation to this issue. Unfortunately, my comments were grossly misreported and misrepresented. This is the point that I wanted to make: the tree count on the site will vary, depending on what is classified as a tree. Members would be aware that the tree protection legislation defines what is a tree and what trees require approval before they


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