Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (13 May) . . Page.. 1892..
how committed they are to building this road and investing in this important public infrastructure. They are so committed to getting on with it right now, as Mr Smyth said to Gungahlin residents last Saturday, that they are prepared to block these amendments tonight, amendments which would allow this work to recommence next week.
That is the proposition that Mrs Dunne and her colleagues will have to explain to the community of Canberra when this government lets people know the outcome of the vote tonight, if that is what occurs. The Liberal party, when presented with a proposition it fundamentally does not disagree with, blocks it so that its legislation can get dealt with first. That is all this is about-nothing more and nothing less. Right now a proposition is on the table for members to debate that will allow the work to recommence next week. Now it is time for the Liberal party to put its money where its mouth is and not seek to manoeuvre politically so that its legislation, rather than the legislation already before this place, is seen as the saving one.
What is wrong with legislation that permits a project to proceed in a way that has been heavily scrutinised and agreed to by this place on frequent and successive occasions? We have all known that the development of this infrastructure will go through an area of Canberra Nature Park. That is no surprise to anyone. Obviously, building a piece of infrastructure within Canberra Nature Park will have some impact on that environment.
These amendments make clear what authorisation is, or is not, required for that work to occur in relation to this specific project. Mrs Dunne is suggesting that we use this project to get Assembly support for enabling legislation that allows any infrastructure project or development application in this city to be determined as a project of territorial significance, overriding other usual requirements of the land act and of other planning approaches.
Mrs Dunne is saying, "We might have a problem with Gungahlin Drive now, but what a great opportunity to open the doors wide to a whole heap of other projects that, potentially, we can allow to go through without a level of scrutiny."That is wrong in my view. That is fundamentally wrong. The government's approach has been to say, "We know that successive assemblies and successive governments have, by overwhelming majority, agreed that this project should proceed. It has satisfied all of the requirements of the territory plan, preliminary assessments and the National Capital Plan and should therefore proceed."That is what we are putting forward in the legislation today.
But Mrs Dunne is saying, "This is a great opportunity to open the doors and allow a piece of legislation to be presented in this place that not only deals with the Gungahlin Drive extension but also potentially opens up to any project that the minister of the day determines to be significant a process that is not subject to the normal requirements of the land act."That is the contrast between government and opposition. We say that the Gungahlin Drive project specifically should be facilitated-
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell has the floor. Order, members!
MR CORBELL: and we say that it is this project only which should be dealt with in this manner, because of the consistent and well-expressed view of a majority of members of past and previous governments that this project should proceed.