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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 564..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

that actually means closing down schools and pulling down the school buildings—"is not predicated on any land sales."He used to add things like "by the department of education", "at this stage"or some sort of weasel words that indicated that they really had their fingers crossed behind their backs. He said, "This will be a difficult process."Yes, it will be a difficult process; it will be a lengthy process.

I make a prediction here today that substantial tracts of that land will be sold out of the community sector, out of community use—that there will be land use changes. That will have a big impact on housing and planning policy in the ACT. There needs to be considerable consultation between Property ACT and the planning and land development agencies in relation to this.

Whether the process is Dr Foskey's process or the minister's process, the important thing is that it has to be open and accountable. I foreshadow that in a moment I will move an amendment to Mr Hargreaves's amendment to ensure that, if we go down his path, which we certainly will, the advice provided in relation to government schools and surplus property will become available to the Assembly and, through us, to the members of the community.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (4.52): In speaking to Mr Hargreaves's amendment, I will reiterate some of Mrs Dunne's points, because I do not believe that the minister heard what she was saying.

Mr Hargreaves: Yes, I did.

Mrs Dunne: No; he was talking.

Mr Hargreaves: I still listened to you. I can think and breathe at the same time, unlike others.

DR FOSKEY: Anyway. Thank you very much. I will speak now. I am disappointed in the government's amendment because I think it means that the government did not understand what my motion was about. In fact, after listening to the speech given by the minister, I think that is confirmed.

My motion was not an attack on the government. It was meant to be a constructive proposal that would, as far as I am concerned, have helped it regain valuable and lost trust, which I think every government should seek to build with the community. It was really asking the government to follow its own process as set out in its own policy and guidelines, but make that an open process and have consultation on it at the early stages so that the community is not brought in just at the end when it is practically a fait accompli.

My concern, and the reason I felt it was necessary to move my motion, is this: we have seen that the government often follow their own policy and guidelines only when it suits them and that they stick to the statutory requirements and do not go any further. My belief is that the statutory requirements on consultation are inadequate.

In this case, I believe that the government's amendment means that the government will take advice. Guess who from: the government. What gives the government the


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