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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 8 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2674..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

needs to apply. We believe it is a sterling example of what you urge on us regularly, rightly and appropriately in relation to all decision making—that is, that we balance the economic needs of this community with the social needs of this community and the environmental needs of this community.

That is the attitude and the approach we have taken, an approach based on evidence—in other words, what is the standard and level of noise, how do we measure it and what information do we rely on? In that regard, we have, in consultation with the airport and in consultation with Airservices Australia, engaged an independent noise assessor to assess noise readings and assess noise issues that I would expect to be at the heart. We engaged that independent noise assessor on the basis of representations from members of the north Canberra community. That report is not yet available.

I am disinclined to pre-empt a decision in relation to an attitude around noise and overnight freight and freight services in advance of a report from Airservices Australia on noise, a noise report that we have sought to be independently verified. We have sought that independent verification on the basis of representations from the community. I think it is only reasonable that our decision, when we take it, will be based on that evidence.

Even then, as you, Ms Hunter, quite rightly and appropriately, urge on all of us all the time to take a holistic triple-bottom-line approach to decision making, we make that ultimate decision not just on the basis of noise and noise levels: we balance the competing interests of our economy, other social aspects and the environmental implications. That is the approach we adopt.

We are expecting that report from the independent noise assessor, I believe, within the next four weeks or so. We, of course, will make that immediately available for the information of each of us as we grapple with this difficult issue.

But I will not walk away from the central importance of the Canberra international airport to this economy and to this community. In relation to the imposition of regulations on the activities of that major driver of this economy, we need to take those decisions mindful of the importance of the Canberra international airport to this city whilst accepting that there must be, in certain circumstances, constraints, particularly constraints that unreasonably impact on urban, community and individual amenity. We accept the balancing act, but I think that it is important for all of us, as we take decisions on this, to look at all aspects, all of the implications, of regulation of, in this instance, a major economic and social service for the people of the ACT.

Land—rent scheme

MS BURCH: My question is to the Chief Minister. Would the Chief Minister please update the Assembly on progress towards securing a major lender for the land rent scheme?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

Members interjecting—


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