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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 May 1995) . . Page.. 631 ..


As I am sure members of the previous Government are aware, if light rail were to go ahead in that area - no final decision has been taken on that - urban development, the places at which ACT Government employees are housed, where they work, is absolutely essential in terms of the viability of the light rail link. It is those sorts of long-term planning issues, and short-term planning issues as well, that we will be taking into account when we make those decisions.

MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Unless I am very much mistaken, that amounts to about a 360-degree backflip on the part of the Government in terms of Gungahlin. The last words I heard Mrs Carnell utter on the matter were, “Why would you put an office building at Gungahlin when they do not even have a shopping centre there?”. She was wrong about that; they do have shops at Gungahlin. Obviously, she has changed her mind about that as well, Mr Speaker. Can the Government indicate whether they have abandoned the policy of having government-owned buildings for ACT Government employees?

MRS CARNELL: No, we have not abandoned that at all, and it is true that I did say, “Why on earth would you put government offices next to a park?”, or, “Why, in heaven's name, if you do not have the Gungahlin Town Centre up and running, would you put office blocks there?”. As the previous Chief Minister would know, the DELP employees need a new building by the end of next year. It is simply impossible to build a building at Gungahlin in that timeframe. We have looked for other options. As the previous Chief Minister would know, she had to, too. She had put this out to tender in February this year. She had put the whole thing out to tender. What was in that tender? Appropriate sites in North Canberra. North Canberra is what she had put out to tender. Those tenders have closed and this Government, being an efficient operation, will make a decision in the next couple of weeks. The previous Chief Minister knew perfectly well that Gungahlin was not an option. That is why she put it out to tender in February.

ACTEW - Corporatisation

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, the doves are a bit restless this afternoon.

MR SPEAKER: So are the galahs.

MR HIRD: Yes, there are plenty of them over there; they are directly opposite.

I address my question to Mr Tony De Domenico, the Minister for Urban Services. There has been a lot of debate in this chamber on corporatisation, Mr Minister. Are you aware of the announcement by Mr Michael Egan, the New South Wales Labor Treasurer, relating to the proposals for that State's electricity industry? Can the Minister inform the parliament of the similarities between approaches taken by the New South Wales Labor Government and what the ACT Government is preparing with respect to ACTEW? Can the Minister inform the parliament whether the proposals of the New South Wales Labor Minister, Mr Egan, are consistent with developments within our own jurisdiction, the ACT?


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