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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 709..


MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question. Minister, when did ACT Forests realise that the herbicides they use may pose a threat to human health? When did they stop using them?

MR HARGREAVES: ACT Forests have never considered the use of herbicides to be dangerous to the health of the people of the ACT.

Planning-Forde

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. I draw your attention to comments by your planning minister, reported on 25 November 2004, where at the time when the LDA was assessing tenders in relation to the joint venture for Forde he expressed a preference for a bigger operator like those in Sydney and Melbourne. Chief Minister, do you support the sentiments of your planning minister in supporting interstate firms at the expense of local firms? Is it appropriate for the minister responsible to make such comments while a tender process is under way?

MR STANHOPE: I will ask the Minister for Planning to respond to that question.

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. The comments I made simply made the point that the government was keen to see as wide a range as possible of potential tenderers for the development of new subdivisions in partnership with the LDA. That was the intention of my comments and that was certainly what I hoped to communicate. It did not in any way seek to express a particular view as to one type of bidder over another. That is entirely a matter for the LDA board, and I can confirm to the Assembly that I was in no way involved in the considerations of the LDA in determining the successful tenderer for that project.

MR SESELJA: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Does the government have a general prejudice against local firms, or is it just the Minister for Planning?

MR CORBELL: No and no.

Wages

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations, Ms Gallagher. Is the minister aware of news articles and comments in the media regarding rises in wages in the ACT in the August quarter? If so, what is your response to these media reports and comments?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. For the benefit of the chamber, I think the media reports Ms MacDonald was referring to were comments primarily made by the shadow Treasurer and shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Mulcahy. As we are all learning, Mr Mulcahy has an issue he likes to air from time to time. Basically, it is a pretty simple argument. He attacks the ACT government for improving wage outcomes in the ACT public sector and believes that we have an irresponsible approach to wages policy. Mr Mulcahy has been quoted in the media a number of times on this, most recently in February, but the mini-campaign he is running seemed to begin in November last year with a media release he issued called


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