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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2840..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Drive extension through land identified in the territory plan as public land reserved for nature reserve. It is, in fact, exactly on Caswell Drive. Despite the government's efforts to construct this road, it has been frustrated by a series of legal challenges. This amendment bill includes further provisions to minimise such disruptions.

The most recent legal challenge seeks to prevent the construction of some 900 metres of the GDE south of Wangara Street in Aranda that passes through what on the territory plan is identified as a nature reserve on the basis that building a road is inconsistent with the objectives of a nature reserve, notwithstanding the road there now.

On closer examination, the area under challenge is the road reservation for Caswell Drive and the GDE is to be built within that reservation. The road reservation for Caswell Drive was gazetted in 1969 and the existing road was constructed well in advance of the adjacent areas being declared a nature reserve in the territory plan in 1993. Caswell Drive is identified as an existing arterial road on the national capital plan.

On the face of it, there should be no need to make these amendments, but the current legal challenge to block the construction of part of the GDE because the territory plan identifies the area it passes through as a nature reserve justifies this action. The nature reserve also includes parts of the road reservations for Belconnen Way and Bindubi Street, and you may well ask whether there will be legal challenges about any improvements of these roads in the future or even the existence of those roads.

Sensibly, the management plan for Canberra Nature Reserve released in 1999 identified the road reservations for Caswell Drive, Bindubi Street and Belconnen Way as separate from the nature reserve. The amendment bill provides for me, as the minister, to consider land that is necessary for the construction of the GDE and to declare that this land is not reserved or not reserved for a stated period-in short, that Caswell Drive is actually a road and we can build on it.

These amendments are essential and provide more certainty to progressing the construction of the GDE and limits further challenges. The bill complements the other initiatives announced by the government to allow work on the project to continue, including the Gungahlin Drive Extension Authorisation Bill, amendments to the land act regulations and amendments to the Nature Conservation Act. I comment this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Estimates 2004-2005-Select Committee

Report-government response

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming, and Acting Minister for Planning) (10.39): I present the following paper:

Estimates 2004-2005-Select Committee-Report-Appropriation Bill 2004-2005 (presented 22 June 2004- Government response.

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