Page 221 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 13 February 1991

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On the question of whether the time was inadequate, 68 submissions were received by the deadline. There are 68 people who live in Belconnen who did not think the time was too short and they thought it was important enough to make their input at that stage. So, there is great public interest. I would remind the Assembly that none of the input in response to that came from any member of the Opposition. Now they become very concerned about this issue, but not one of them made any comment on that preliminary assessment report and the information contained in it.

Mr Duby: They were on holidays.

MR KAINE: They were all out of town. I expect that specific development proposals and a draft environmental impact assessment on west Belconnen will be released for public comment in March 1991. That specific development proposal will take account of the comment that has now been received from 68 interested people. Indeed, there were a number of proposals that were received late and are also being considered. It is only after receipt of submissions on these proposals that the ITPA will assess them and they will make recommendations to me as to whether the land use policy for the area should be varied or whether further assessment work should be undertaken which may involve further public inquiries.

The Government will not be proceeding with development in the area without full assessment and without full opportunity for public comment in the circumstances. As I said before, I do not consider that the period for commenting on the preliminary assessment was unacceptably short. The fact that so many people responded in the time would indicate that they do not think so either.

Royal Canberra Hospital South

MR BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Health, Education and the Arts. Will the Minister deny that the Royal Canberra Hospital South hydrotherapy pool is to close?

MR HUMPHRIES: Once again it sounds as though we are getting into that old trick that we had last year, "Will you deny that this is going to close? Will you deny that that is going to close?", et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I am going to give the same answer that I have given in the past to all those kinds of questions.

Mr Kaine: Another furphy. When are you going to stop beating your wife, Wayne?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, I know that it was meant in a frivolous manner, but the record will be misread by somebody. Please withdraw.

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