Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 4 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 1280..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
privileged to have a person of Dr Baker's eminence as the Commissioner for the Environment for the last 10 years. We owe him an enormous debt for his contribution to ACT environmental reporting-not just in the ACT but also nationally. He has done an absolutely outstanding job.
I have no desire or intention to get rid of Dr Baker; nor have I got rid of him. Dr Baker advised the government over a year ago that he would not be seeking an extension of his appointment beyond the end of last year. Towards the end of last year he advised me that he had not completed his State of the Environment report and asked if I would grant him a three-month extension. I granted him the extension in the terms that he sought. The extension that I granted at his request, in the terms that he requested, concludes on Wednesday this week.
He has completed his report and has provided it to the government. He provided it to the government when I was overseas. I have not seen the report; I have not read the report. I think it only appropriate that, before its public distribution, it be tabled in this place. I think it is only reasonable that, before it is tabled and released, I have an opportunity to at least be briefed on it. I do not think that is unreasonable.
I will try my best to achieve that before Thursday; I will try my best to table it. But it would be bizarre in the extreme if a report provided to me as the minister were unilaterally released by the person working on behalf of the government statutorily to provide it. It is the government's report-it is not Dr Baker's report-and it is appropriate that the government release it at a time of some convenience to the government. It is unreasonable to expect that I, having neither read the report nor been briefed on it, would say, "It's alright. Go for your life."That would simply be inappropriate and unacceptable.
MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, what is so special about this report that you need to read it? What horrors are contained in the State of the Environment report that you feel the need to censor it?
MR SMYTH: I have absolute no idea what is in this report. I would like to know what is in it before I table it.
Belconnen bus interchange
MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell. Minister, the Belconnen arts and cultural facilities study options paper that was released earlier this month makes the following comment about the Belconnen bus interchange:
Investigation into the latest planning has confirmed that the interchange will remain at the current site. However, it will be substantially reconfigured and brought down to street level.
Minister, can you confirm that this is the future of the Belconnen bus interchange?
MR CORBELL: I am not aware of the detail of that study. I will need to understand exactly in what context that statement was made. Certainly, my understanding, and the