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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 9 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 2623..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Christmas as we possibly can. We will then do something with the community that these folk never do, and that is move forward.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, are you satisfied with the conduct of the consultation, given that these district meetings that are happening this week were notified with less than a week about where the meetings were being held and on what dates?

MR HARGREAVES: I believe that the process is going to be an effective one. It is going to enable the community to have their input. More importantly, it will enable the community to find out what is in the minds of those people who drafted the set of first proposals, remembering that those proposals are just four. We want to see more. If people want to give them to us, that would be fantastic. We encourage that. These are information sessions. These are not decision-making processes. These consultation processes are just that. It is an information-sharing session.

Now, Mr Speaker, let us suggest to you that somebody really wished to go to one of these consultation processes and was not able to. What would they do? They can contact the consultant, and we will make another arrangement for them. It is as simple as that. I do notice that in the past, of course, the Liberal Party could whack on a community meeting and get 15 people in a phone box at any minute's notice at all, yet they have temerity to criticise us.

This issue, Mr Speaker, has been in the public arena well and truly for a long time. The first time I went public on this was in May this year—May. Mr Speaker, I will say this again, because Mrs Dunn had her attention distracted by one of her colleagues: if somebody wants to go to these sessions and cannot get to it, there will be other arrangements made for them to get the same information—very simple. This is an honest process, and these people can rant and rave and carry on until the cows come home, but this is a process which is genuine, Mr Speaker, and one which will give certainty to the community and will move them forward.

As I said, there are two types of people: those people that wish to continue to litigate the closure of the schools, and those opposite sit in that group, and there are people who want the community to move forward, and those are the people we want to hear from.

Outdoor cafes

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, on 28 June this year you approved an increase in a range of fees that apply to outdoor cafes where the proprietors of these cafes wish to place objects in a public place. In the explanatory statement that accompanied the notice of these new fees you said:

Fees for the placement of objects for outdoor cafes in a public place have been increased by 33 per cent from 1 July 2007. This increase is part of a program to increase these fees by 100 per cent over three years.


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