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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 214..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

While we are about refurbishing it, we are going to replace some of the outbuildings and there will be some general development of the site."

There is a common-man test to that situation. If somebody tells me that they are going to replace some of the outbuildings, that conveys to me that perhaps they are going to take down the old outside toilet and replace it with a tool shed, not that they are going to build a 70-bed facility. There was nothing on the pieces of paper left under the doors or in the letterboxes of those few residents to indicate the scale of what was being proposed, in secret, through this planning process. This secrecy was condoned, overseen and signed off by the minister. That is a matter of absolute shame for which this place should be condemning the minister. This minister, when he was the shadow Minister for Planning, was the great advocate: "There will be planning reforms. When Simon Corbell becomes the Minister for Planning, there will be no more sneaky deals."Well, this is the sneakiest deal I have seen in a long time.

We then have the appalling spectacle of the Minister for Planning attempting to justify, in this place, his use of regulation 12. He used the same script in this place as he did in the Planning and Environment Committee's review of annual reports the other day. His statements are simply unsupportable. If you take to the logical conclusion what Mr Corbell said in this place today and what he said in the Planning and Environment Committee hearings, any hospital, any place where a doctor operates or conducts his business or any psychologist could be subject to regulation 12.

Quite frankly, this place could also be subject to regulation 12, because we all have confidential files in our offices. The minister has created the most enormous loophole that allows him to ride roughshod over the community. If this can happen in Fadden and Macarthur, it can happen in Evatt, Isaacs or any other suburb you may choose to think of. This minister has set the precedent and has ridden roughshod over the regulations the use of which, when he was in opposition, he criticised.

The other day I asked the minister to provide me with a list of the number of occasions on which regulation 12 had been used in the past. Just before lunch, I checked with the committee secretary. That information is not yet forthcoming, even though it was requested over a week ago. To my knowledge, it has been used on one other occasion, which was for the approval of a process in relation to a women's shelter. I am sure members will recall that, when that happened, this minister, who was then standing on this side of the room, soundly criticised the then Minister for Planning for invoking regulation 12.

We are talking about a set of double standards. What is good enough in opposition is certainly not good enough when you actually get to wield power and pull the levers of government. That is the problem. In this process we have seen not a shred of the previous Simon Corbell, now the Minister for Planning, who was once the friend of the community, opposed to this sort of big government intervention in people's lives. All of that has been torn away and we see the Minister for Planning for what he is. He is power hungry. He wants to have his say and his say will prevail.

This motion today is a result of pressure from the members for Brindabella. Some of the members for Brindabella were at a meeting the other night which they must have found enormously discomforting. They went scurrying away after the meeting saying, "Oh, oh!


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