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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 9 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 3749..

Questions without notice

Planning—alleged interference

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, you have previously defended the performance of the former head of ACTPLA, Neil Savery, saying:

Mr Savery has provided a sterling and a very high level of professionalism in his role as chief planning executive and is a man that I have ... considerable regard ... for.

However, in documents obtained by the opposition, the former Chief Minister describes Mr Savery's opinions as offensive and inappropriate. Further, Mr Stanhope claimed in a letter that Mr Savery did not "understand some fairly fundamental aspects of his role". Minister, was Mr Stanhope correct in his views of Mr Savery?

MR CORBELL: It is not for me to express a view about Mr Stanhope's opinions.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary?

MR SESELJA: Thank you. Minister, what level of confidence can the community have in the planning system if some ministers claim that senior public servants do not understand their roles?

MR CORBELL: I have full confidence in the capacity of all of the officials in the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate in the exercise of their functions.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, is this yet another example of bullying the public service from your government?

MR CORBELL: No, Mr Speaker.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, did Mr Savery understand the fundamental aspects of his role?

MR CORBELL: I was not the responsible minister at the time of this particular matter, Mr Speaker, so I am not really in a position to comment.

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