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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2004) . . Page.. 213 ..

It was important to have a bill drafted in order to move the process along. We could sit on our hands, waiting for some other form of drug delivery to be developed, but there is no doubt that cannabis is readily available. Without taking any direct action I think that, with this document on the table, we can now make concrete decisions on how to move forward with this initiative. I hope to introduce a more final version of the bill in April or May. I understand that there is general support in the Assembly for this initiative. I look forward to feedback from the government, from members and from the community over the next couple of months.

Karralika drug rehabilitation facility—development

[Cognate motion:

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee—reference]

Debate resumed.

MRS DUNNE (3.33): We travelled far and wide this morning on the subject of the Karralika development application and its approval process. I want to make it very clear that we are not talking about Karralika, we are not talking about drug and alcohol beds and we are not talking about whether or not people in particular communities want drug and alcohol facilities in their suburbs. Quite frankly, I do not care whether people want drug and alcohol facilities in their suburbs. What we are talking about here is the planning process. This issue is about planning. The minister and the members for Brindabella may do everything possible to defuse or blur the issue, but I state categorically that, when the members of the Liberal Party stand here in support of this motion, it is in support of a motion about planning.

This motion highlights the concern members in this place and members of the community, whom we represent, have about the planning process in this instance. As the Leader of the Opposition and member for Brindabella said this morning, this is about a sneaky process that was presided over and condoned by the Minister for Planning. We need to look at what has happened. As Mrs Burke rightly pointed out, when members opposite were in opposition they talked about open and accountable government all the time. It was a constant litany: “We will be open, we will be accountable, responsible and prudent.” And then they came into government.

From the limited information available to us we know that plans were drawn up in March last year to extend Karralika, and there was a budget announcement. Although we talked about more money and more beds for Karralika, even at that stage it was unclear to me that those beds were going to be located in Fadden. The money became available in June. The development application—the other day, I spoke to one of the residents who had viewed as many of the documents as it was possible to view—was lodged on, I think, 30 September last year. It may have been 30 October, but I think it was 30 September.

I stand to be corrected on that, but it was a considerable length of time before the furtive knock in early January on six, 11 or 14 doors—the number is uncertain. An enormously ambiguous piece of paper was provided to people. The piece of paper said, “By the way, we thought you would like to know that Karralika is going to undergo refurbishment.

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