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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2763..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

sprawl. (Extension of time granted.) We all know that urban sprawl is bad for the environment and that urban sprawl is not sustainable, yet the draft variation for urban sprawl will be passed shortly in this place.

Mr Speaker, this is an inequitable model in that only the rich will be able to afford dual occupancies outside the zones. We have got inner zones and outer zones. We have division, therefore, that I think will lead to neighbourhood disharmony, simply because people will be saying, "How can they have it across the road and I can't on this side?"We have even got it now inside sections. Some people will be allowed to and others will not, all on the basis of a line drawn by the minister's pen.

Most importantly, Mr Speaker, we have a government that has ignored a very loud cry from the community that it should go back to the drawing board and start again. That cry was echoed by the committee. I believe that we will make a mistake today by going ahead with variation 200, as it is quite clear that so much of the community is against its coming into existence.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Bushfires-McLeod inquiry

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, you stated in the Assembly on 18 February 2003 that the terms of reference for the McLeod inquiry "are broad. They are all encompassing. That was the government's intention. There is no aspect that I do not want Mr McLeod to look into."

Chief Minister, there are several key operational issues relating to the bushfires that the McLeod report doesn't address, such as the deployment of units and the declaration of the state of emergency. Given that McLeod has not addressed these issues, are you satisfied that he has looked thoroughly into all aspects of the operational response to the bushfires?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Smyth. I think the McLeod report is an excellent report; I think it is thorough; I think it was objective; I think it was very vigorously and rigorously conducted. It was an administrative inquiry; it was an inquiry with a very short time frame attached to it-a time frame that was designed to ensure that the government and the community had available to them in reasonable time, before the commencement of the next bushfire season, a report of an inquiry into the base or fundamental issues around the bushfires of 18 January.

As it is, the next bushfire season is only six weeks away. As it is, there is very little time to respond to the myriad of issues that have been raised by Mr McLeod and are obvious to us and in relation to which we have undertaken to respond. Indeed, this afternoon, the Treasurer will be introducing a second appropriation bill to deal, as a matter of urgency, with many of the issues which have been raised by Mr McLeod and to which the government is determined to respond.


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