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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3365..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

COAG tomorrow, Mrs Dunne, is say to the Prime Minister of Australia that an offer of $125 million from the Commonwealth to address the issues faced by the Murray River and the Murray-Darling Basin is derisory. It is a joke. It shows absolutely no leadership and it shows absolutely no determination to address the major issues facing the nation through the degradation of the Murray-Darling system. $125 million by itself will achieve almost nothing.

Interestingly, in terms of leadership, the position being put by the Prime Minister, of course, is that New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia should match the Commonwealth's $125 million individually. So the $500 million that the Prime Minister has identified as perhaps a notional or opening bid for the next five years in relation to the reclamation of some of the issues around environment flows and the degradation that has been suffered really does illustrate the extent to which the Commonwealth is not serious. The Commonwealth is simply not serious if it thinks that a Commonwealth contribution of $125 million will get us even to first base in relation to the issues facing the Murray.

The Commonwealth is putting up $125 million and saying to South Australia, "Look, we want $125 million from you."Let's get serious about this. Let's get serious about our commitment to save the Murray. Let's get serious about our commitment to deal with the major issues of salinity. Let's get serious about the creeping death which the Murray River is suffering. It is dying from the mouth up. It is dying now to the extent of hundreds of kilometres a year in terms of the level of salt that is deposited into the system.

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order under standing order 118 (a). I think the Chief Minister needs to be concise and not repetitive.

Public housing

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for housing, Mr Wood. Your spokesman is quoted in a Chronicle article this week as stating in relation to the Red Hill public housing complex:

ACT Housing ... has no intention of doing anything ... except for "routine maintenance ... so the premises remain habitable ... until at least 2005...".

Given this position, Minister, why is it that, in the asset management strategy 2003-2008 released by you yesterday, there is no specific mention of this particular location, although similar sites such as Currong are mentioned?

There is an obvious contradiction here. Which is to be relied upon-your spokesman's position last week or your publication yesterday, given that they both cannot be true?

MR WOOD: I think that's a bit of nonsense, Mr Speaker-not surprisingly. The comment in the Chronicle was specifically to do with a neighbourhood planning project that Mr Corbell's people are taking up. In consultation with Mr Corbell and other people, I have removed the Red Hill public housing complex from that consideration; that's what it's about.


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