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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1511..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

dollars. These are not minor concessions on the part of the government; this is not tinkering around the edges. This means significant changes to the way we view land, land supply and land in terms of its ecological value and the ecosystems existing on that land.

That is the government's record. It is a very significant contribution to conservation in the ACT and it highlights how the government works every day to seek to achieve a balance between the competing needs of housing, housing affordability and the preservation of land here in the ACT. In particular, this is a matter on which Mrs Dunne would do well to reflect next time she accuses the government of not providing sufficient land in the ACT and at the same time criticises the government on its environmental record. It is hypocritical of Mrs Dunne in particular and, indeed, other members of this place, to take this view without being conscious of those particular issues.

Blind cricket

MRS BURKE: My question is to the minister for disability services, Mr Wood. As is often said, the best has been saved for last. Minister, on 10 March this year, Mr Hargreaves represented the government at the launch of ACT blind cricket. I am reliably informed that during his speech-on behalf of the government, I should add-Mr Hargreaves blurted out intemperately, "You wouldn't want Simon Corbell on your team because he runs like a fat camel and throws like an elephant."Members opposite may smirk, smile and laugh, but the next bit is more serious. To worsen the embarrassment, he added, "I've played plenty of blind cricket before-when I was blind drunk."Minister, what action have you taken to rebuke Mr Hargreaves for his grossly offensive remarks to blind people in general and to the Blind Cricket Association in particular?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Wood is not responsible for Mr Hargreaves. The question is out of order. Resume your seat.

Mr Wood: But I think that I should answer the question.

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order. Mr Wood has responsibility for disability services in the ACT and this was a slight on disability services; so what has he done? Alternatively, Mr Wood could refer it to the Chief Minister as the person responsible for the operation of the whole of the government.

MR SPEAKER: I accept that point.

MR WOOD: I agree that it is a disability responsibility, Mr Speaker. Mr Hargreaves does many things on behalf of the government and on my behalf and does them very well indeed. Mr Hargreaves performs extremely well out there in the real community and I hear many great reports of him. He tells me that he and the blind cricketers have had conversations of all sorts and that there is no particular dispute between them. That is the advice I have from Mr Hargreaves and I can tell this Assembly that he will be representing me on future occasions.

MRS BURKE: Minister, I thank you for your response to that, but did Mr Hargreaves clear his speech with you before he gave it?


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