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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2685..


Wednesday, 6 December 1995

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MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

PLANNING AUTHORITIES - OPTIONS FOR A SINGLE SYSTEM

Debate resumed from 20 September 1995.

MS HORODNY (10.31): Mr Speaker, for too long the Australian taxpayer has been forking out money on the NCPA, an authority that, while carrying out some useful functions, is in the main unnecessary. For too long the people of the ACT have been subjected to a mentality that says politicians and tourists come first and the people of Canberra come second. The NCPA cost the Australian taxpayer approximately $20m last year and is expected to cost in excess of $25m in 1995-96. For this they manage national capital functions such as the lake and its assets, including Commonwealth Park, the Captain Cook fountain, et cetera.

However, it is the control they have over the ACT's current and future planning that is of most concern. They spend forever approving events and festivals, causing endless bureaucratic nightmares for the ACT Government and local community groups. It seems that their brief is to obstruct, to cost money and time, and to cause pain to all those who have dealt with them. In some areas they appear to have control where none can be justified, yet we are forced to go cap in hand to the NCPA every time we want to get something done in this town. The Kingston foreshore development is a case in point. For years, people and organisations have been lobbying the Federal Government to have the site cleaned and redeveloped and for years nothing has happened, despite a number of excellent concept plans. By holding out on us, they managed to secure a dream deal with the Carnell Government which will swap a sliver of land at Kingston for a chunk of land at Acton Peninsula and not have to pay a bean for cleaning up toxics at Kingston or demolition at Acton.

Despite strongly disagreeing with this Government's decision on the land swap when it was made months ago, the Greens commend the actions of this Government in looking at mechanisms for creating a single planning authority. The NCPA has recently completed a study into how people in Australia want their national capital to be. It is a shame that, when conducting this survey, it appears they forgot to ask about the people of Canberra. They forgot to ask what can be done for them to make it a city they like and want to live in. While this is the national capital, it is much more than that. It is a place where real people live, work and play. Sometimes it seems that the Commonwealth planners


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