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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 1993) . . Page.. 2454 ..

MRS CARNELL: I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, in a press release put out by Mrs Ros Kelly on 7 February 1993 she outlined 4,400 positions that would be lost, in her words, under a Federal coalition government. On the figures released in the budget last night, in excess of 5,000 ACT public servants will lose their jobs. Do you now accept that the Federal Labor Government is, to use your words, slashing and burning?

MS FOLLETT: Madam Speaker, the question has been fully answered. Frankly, I would not rely on Mrs Carnell's estimation of any figures whatsoever.

Housing Development - North Duffy-Holder and North Watson

MR LAMONT: First of all, it might be well for Mrs Carnell not to allow Mr Kaine's staff to write her questions for her in future. My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. I refer to an article in today's Belconnen Chronicle. The Watson Community Association argued that you had attached the alleged cost by the ANU of $40m to relocate the Stromlo Observatory in error to the North Watson development costs. In order to correct this error, could you outline again the true picture in regard to the joint Stromlo study by the ANU and DELP, and comment on the Watson Community Association's claims?

Mr Kaine: And could you explain that you know the difference between Watson and Duffy?

MR WOOD: Indeed I can, Mr Kaine, and if you listen - perhaps you are a better listener than Mrs Carnell - you will get the picture. By coincidence there are two figures of $40m floating around. One relates to the Duffy-Holder development and one to North Watson. There are two figures. I well know this, but I think the person that provided the news release from North Watson did not realise that. Let me give you the detail of them. In their costings the North Duffy group came up, on their estimations, with a figure of $57m under their heading, "The true costs of the proposals the Government has put out in North Duffy". Included in that is an estimation, I believe, from the observatory people of $40m to relocate the observatory. That may be the figure, but in fact it is irrelevant to the argument.

It has long been known that eventually - I am as happy as anybody else if it is later rather than sooner - the observatory will be relocated. That is why they have Siding Springs. The piece of paper I have is quite accurate in one sense, in that it says "the true costs of this development". Perhaps someone may claim that it is a cost. But it is not a cost to the ACT Government, and that is the point I was making in one of my statements. The ANU is accommodating this, not the ACT Government. When people from that area go to the media, as they have done, and say that the ACT taxpayer is going to pay $40m to relocate the observatory, I am entitled to say that that is a bit of nonsense and, as I did the other day, that their arguments would be better served, their case better presented, if they did not come up with that sort of nonsense.

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