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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3029..


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MRS DUNNE: My question is directed to the Minister for Health and Minister for Planning, in his capacity as minister responsible for transport. I refer to the deplorable state of affairs that resulted in the passenger train service linking Sydney and Canberra being abruptly withdrawn. Does the minister agree that Canberra has been unfairly singled out as a result of this action?

Was the minister consulted by his Labor Party colleagues in New South Wales before that decision was taken? If so, did he concur with the views that were expressed? If the minister was not consulted, did he protest? What action has the minister taken to reverse this studied insult to Canberra and the surrounding region? Will the minister advise members when those services will be restored?

MR CORBELL: I am not responsible for train services in the ACT.

MRS DUNNE: I ask a supplementary question. Is the minister afraid to take on his Labor mate, Michael Costa, over this issue?

MR CORBELL: No.

Community housing project

MS TUCKER: My question is to Minister Wood as minister for housing. Minister, in this year's budget, $3 million was allocated for innovations in community housing. Several small-scale-that is, grassroots groups-developed models. The minister said about this project, in this place on 3 April this year, that the release of the $3 million would "I think have some impact in that sector"-meaning the community housing sector.

I understand that, despite the large amount of work that went into developing innovative projects as ideas, as yet no payments have been made for implementing the innovative projects. I have heard that part of the problem is that there is no structure or process in place for land to be made available to those projects. Minister, what barriers are there to these projects going ahead to the stage of providing new social housing? What is the government doing to overcome those barriers?

MR WOOD: The $3 million would refer to the outcome from last year, which was allocated fairly late in the piece. It is yet to be decided where the further money allocated this year is to be disbursed. As to barriers, I would have thought those applications carry all the detail of what was proposed. I think I heard you say there was a problem with acquiring land.

I am not aware of any difficulties there. I am not aware of any barriers. I have heard no reports of that nature, other than what you have raised with me today. I will certainly look at that. I had expected that, once that money had been allocated earlier in the year, those projects would move ahead quite comfortably. I will take on all the details you wish to provide to see if those barriers exist and, if so, what can be done to overcome them.


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