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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1033..


MR CORBELL

(continuing):

advice on its future master planning intentions. Representatives of the AIS refused to provide any master plan documents to officials of the ACT government, so we had to work in the absence of that information despite requesting it.

Ms Tucker also asks about the matter of challenging the NCA's decision in court. This is not a case of the government genuflecting to the NCA: it is a matter of law. We do not have the capacity to build the road on the western alignment unless the National Capital Plan is varied to permit the route on that alignment. The National Capital Authority has taken the decision that it will recommend to its minister that the western alignment not be supported, and that there not be an amendment to the National Capital Plan to that effect.

The government did seek legal advice on the potential for challenging the NCA's decision in court, primarily through the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act. The advice indicated that the process undertaken by the NCA did contain a number of flaws that were potential avenues for appeal. However, the advice also made clear that, even if such an appeal was successful, it would not result in the substantive decision being changed. It would simply mean that the NCA would have to go back and conduct their processes properly, if the court found that it had conducted them improperly. It would not change the substantive decision. It would not place any requirement on the NCA to choose the ACT government's preferred alignment.

The only thing it would do is create a delay, and it was for that reason that the government has chosen not to pursue a legal challenge.

MS TUCKER

: Will the minister table in the Assembly the legal advice he received that led him to believe that he could not successfully challenge the decision in court, and also the government's critique of the shortcomings of the NCA report?

MR CORBELL

: This is the same request, Ms Tucker, that Save the Ridge made of me at a meeting a couple of weeks ago. In relation to the legal advice, no, I will not. It is quite common for governments not to provide legal advice.

In relation to the critique, it was prepared just prior to the 18 January bushfire event. It was to be published in the paper around the time of the bushfires, however, because of the events of 18 January, that simply did not occur. I have made inquiries of my department to see if that critique can be made available to Save the Ridge. I will follow up that request and, if the critique is available, I will happily table it in the Assembly.

Totalcare

MR CORNWELL: My question is to the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan. Today's Canberra Times reports that there was a divisive motion at last Monday's caucus meeting authorising you to sell or close the roads division and facilities management division of Totalcare by 20 September 2003 and to undertake a scoping study of the fleet division, with a view to its sale by 30 September 2004.

You have advised the Canberra community that "No decisions have yet been made on the future of Totalcare."Your colleague the Minister for Industrial Relations said on Win


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