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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1853..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

If there are gaps in the information, they should be filled. The government may say, as was said in the briefing yesterday, that Dr Joe Baker has said the studies were accurate. In fact, my understanding, based on the communication from Dr Baker, is that he did not agree with the media's summary of his views. He was looking into the question of the adequacy of the environmental assessment for the GDE at the request of members of the community and communicated to them as follows:

The report of ABC radio of April 22 was particularly inaccurate.

I had told the ABC person, who telephoned me that there was no public report and I would not be commenting on it. He did ask me if I had any general impressions, but I said there was nothing for public comment. In discussion, I did say that the work done by Environment ACT was quite extensive, and the term "Preliminary Assessment"was, in my opinion, misleading, because the Environment ACT people, and their consultant or consultants, had done a lot of work. ...

He asked me "was it as good as an EIS or EIA"? I said "no, but it is on the way to one"

Everyone is entitled to their interpretation of statements, but my concern is that the ABC report is not responsible. ...

I retain the belief that great benefit would come from an open meeting, with independent Chairperson, and agreed agenda, to identify what has already been done to understand the impacts of the proposed GDE and what needs to be done, to allow a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact of any such extension, both now and in the future.

(Further extension of time granted.) I am certainly prepared to facilitate such a meeting with Dr Baker, with interested people from the community, such as scientists who have expressed concern, and with the government. I think that this is a constructive suggestion from Dr Baker. I am happy to work with him on that. The construction of this road is going to progress and I have already expressed concerns about the process. Surely this government will acknowledge that it would be constructive and respectful of community and scientific concerns to look at how we can ensure that harm is minimised to the absolute degree. I hope that at least we can get that much done. We will be supporting this disallowance.

MR HARGREAVES (6.06): I would like to correct something I said earlier in my speech. I talked about the cost of not proceeding with the road at approximately $25,000 a day instead of $25,000 a week. I would not like anybody to think that I would mislead the place such as, for example, telling people that telephone calls start from the minute the beep sounds. It would be a dreadful misleading of the House if that were so. I found the arguments of the Minister for Planning persuasive and convincing.

Question put:

That Mr Hargreaves's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-


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