Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2630..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
any suggestions that the questions asked by Austexx in its 4 October 2005 meeting and the questions asked by ING in the later month are the same are also wrong.
MR STEFANIAK: I ask a supplementary question. Minister, do you believe that this differential treatment is satisfactory? Will you now seek to investigate any anomalies in the auction process?
MR CORBELL: I just indicated that there was no differential or preferential treatment. I again refer Mr Stefaniak to the document that I have. Where in this document does it state that Austexx asked ACTPLA, "Is a direct factory outlet permitted on the site?"? It does not. This is the official record of discussion between the planning and land authority and Austexx. At no point does this document indicate that Austexx asked, "Does this mean a direct factory outlet is permitted on the site?"It does not say that. The document says that the subject for discussion "was a bulky goods retail and shops site". Then there are the items for discussion that quite clearly indicate what are the controls in the territory plan for the site. ING, in its letter to the planning and land authority, asked explicitly, "Was a direct factory outlet permitted on the site?"
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I seek your direction. I recall on one occasion when I was a staff member being asked to vacate the media gallery. Members of Mr Corbell's staff are in the media gallery at the moment. I seek your direction on that issue.
MR SPEAKER: Order! There is nobody in the media gallery.
Mrs Dunne: They are, Mr Speaker. They are there in the doorway talking to the media. What is your direction, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: Ask them to close the door.
MR CORBELL: If members of the Liberal Party want to stop my staff from speaking to the media, that is a very interesting move on their part. Clearly, they are worried about this issue if they do not want my staff talking to journalists.
Returning to Mr Stefaniak's supplementary question, the clear point that must be made is that the ING inquiry, which was replied to in early October—on 6 October—and the Austexx meeting on 4 October between ACTPLA and Austexx were not dealing with the same inquiries. So it is simply incorrect to suggest that conflicting or preferential advice was given. It shows that opposition members are not being forthright in the way in which they are taking certain incidents in this whole process. They are cherry picking them to suit their own ends without viewing them in context.
MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, my question to the Minister for Planning is on the same subject. A number of questions asked this week about the EpiCentre lease have been based on selective quotes or references from documents released to the planning and environment committee and from Wednesday's story on WIN Television. There are claims that one company received preferential treatment in the pre-auction process last year. Minister, can you advise the Assembly how the ACT Planning and Land Authority