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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (31 March) . . Page.. 1424..


MR SPEAKER: Ms Tucker, come to the supplementary question or resume your seat.

MS TUCKER: Can you at least tell the Assembly right now how, as Minister for Environment, you plan to protect the recently discovered specimens of the endangered Swansonia recta, how you will ensure that other specimens are identified and protected, how you will ensure the survival of the woodland birds now that we are being told by scientists that the route will go through the hot spots for those birds, and how you will protect the echidnas?

MR STANHOPE: There were three preliminary assessments, detailed investigations, of the environmental impacts of the construction of the Gungahlin Drive extension. Certainly there will be environmental impacts. Some of them will be harsh, hard and wrenching. We have made the decision.

There will be a very significant scar, a new scar, in the landscape. A significant number of trees-in fact, thousands of trees-will be felled and destroyed. There will be an impact on habitat. There will be an impact on the natural environment. We know that. Through the preliminary assessment process, which is how we seek to address issues around the natural environment and its protection when we undertake any major infrastructure, we seek to the best of our ability and to the extent we can to protect those valuable aspects of the natural environment, of the ecology.

Through that preliminary assessment process, we have taken those steps. The process has been undertaken rigorously. We have utilised significant scientific and expert advice available to us. It has been well consulted on. All of the issues in relation to the impact of this road on the environment have been taken into consideration and will be addressed to the greatest capacity we have to address and protect it having regard to the decision we have taken to meet the social, economic and other needs and requirements of this community. That is what we are seeking to do.

We do not have the luxury of taking a stand on the sidelines and do nothing approach, of providing no response or no other attitude to issues around the needs of the people of Gungahlin. We cannot do that. We need to respond to the transport needs of all of Canberra-in this instance, particularly those of Gungahlin, a community not yet, I think, of 30,000 and scheduled to grow to something in the order of 90,000.

Government tendering arrangements

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Treasurer as the minister responsible for procurement policy. ACT roadworks contracts require that tenderers submit an industrial relations plan as part of any tender. That plan must show compliance with the government's industrial relations agenda, which we all know is dictated by the unions. Amongst other onerous and highly intrusive conditions, tenderers have to list the number of direct employees and indirect/contract personnel. Section B (2) (ii) of the guidelines goes on to threaten, ominously, that if the number of full-time equivalent indirect contract personnel exceeds the number of direct employees for any one personnel type, the industrial relations plan will be considered non-compliant, that is, you are ruled out of the tender. Treasurer, why have you put in place this discriminatory and anti-


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