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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 382..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

was no decision, and there have not been any since that time, by the ACTEW Board to invest in infrastructure or land.

I raise this because, on 12 August at 10 o'clock, I had a meeting with the incoming CEO of Actew, who had just taken it up, on the ninth level of ActewAGL House. I went there and attended that meeting. I was accompanied by a member of my staff, and we had a very pleasant meeting and talked generally about issues. One of the take-out messages I got from that was that Actew had just invested in a very large block of land in Williamsdale. The incoming head of Actew and I actually had a discussion about what might be done on that land, what was the time frame for that, and, in the meantime, how Actew would have to be a good leaseholder in the ACT and ensure that the place was weed free and vermin free and that it was properly managed as a rural lease in the meantime.

I do not know whether I have stumbled across something or not. I just leave it there for members to contemplate, because the Auditor-General was told that Actew has not bought any land in relation to this. There was considerable discussion at the time that land had been purchased to build the alternative power station. My senior staff member at the time and I were told by the incoming head of Actew, on 12 August this year, that Actew had bought a block of land there. It is something that I will be pursuing because I hope that the Auditor-General has not been misled on this occasion.

This bill is an important bill. Mr Seselja has pointed to the opposition's concerns about some of the content, which will be addressed at greater length in the detail stage, when we get there. As has been said, we support the bill. We supported the concept of doing this back in April, and the real shame is that we had to wait so long for this to happen.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage (5.17), in reply: I thank members for their contributions. During the contributions there was a position put that suits the perspective of those that have made a contribution, and I do not think there is anything much to be gained by me seeking to rebut, point by point, the essentially politically self-serving views that have been expressed in relation to this particular development. I will not take up the time of the Assembly to do that, although the temptation is great. I am mindful that this is the last sitting day before Christmas, and that we have a very important bill to debate post the passage—or what I hope will be the passage—of this very important piece of legislation.

I think it has been a sorry episode. Certainly, I think each of us has probably learnt through the process; I certainly have. There are things that I have learnt, that I take on board, and that I will respond to. I would hope that every member of this place that has had something to do with the fact that we are here today debating this piece of legislation would also reflect on their role in this matter.

A couple of issues have been raised which I am happy to respond to. One issue which Mr Seselja raised was in relation to clause 9. I take the point that is being made in relation to this. I must say that it is an issue that we discussed in the preparation of the bill. I can say quite genuinely that the position that the government took was to seek


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