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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3176..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

means." Those planners appear to understand all the words but they do not run the common activist test. A common activist who looks at the plan might say, "Look at this. We have a nature park with a road running through it and the nature park is contiguous to the road. That appears to be an issue." The planners think they know what the plan means because they wrote it. They cannot comprehend that anyone might look at it differently and gainsay what they have said. That is what is happening.

The part-timers and activists have gainsaid the experts. When I asked why Caswell Drive was incorporated into the nature reserve, even though it is a major road that is planned to be upgraded, why Belconnen Way, a major road, was incorporated into the nature park, and why Bindubi Street and other streets in the Belconnen electorate were included in the nature reserve I was told, "We could have done it another way and excised those bits from the nature reserve, but we wanted people to be sensitive to the fact that this was a nature reserve with a road running through it." That is the most preposterous ex post facto justification of bad administration that I have heard in a long time.

Mr Wood: Do you know who did it?

MRS DUNNE: It was done under the territory plan. I do not care who did it or which minister signed off on the territory plan; I am saying that it was wrong and that the justification from the bureaucrats is preposterous. If we do not get our house in order, start to do our homework and look at the documentation in the way that terrorists look at it-and I do not mean by that that we should throw Molotov cocktails; rather we should look at the documentation in the way in which those who run guerrilla warfare on this project look at it-we will be done in the courts every time. It is time that the minister ensured that his bureaucrats got their house in order so that these ongoing costs and delays are not perpetuated.

Liberal opposition members support the Gungahlin Drive Extension Authorisation Amendment Bill, but we issue a number of warnings. This is a preposterous piece of drafting. Ms Tucker referred to some of the issues about which we are concerned. For example, the minister may, in writing, declare that land is reserved but that it is not reserved land for a stated purpose. If the minister makes a declaration in relation to land that is reserved, the land ceases to be reserved land. The legislation then refers to whether or not the land may or may not be reserved. People have to read it about 15 times and take their Orwellian doublespeak guide with them to work out what it means.

We have got ourselves into a nice muddle. The problem with this legislation is that it is the wrong approach at the wrong time. But we have to support it because the alternative is continued chaos and delay. The people of Gungahlin in particular and the people of Canberra in general will be inconvenienced for a long time and held to ransom by a few. What we are talking about is a complete shambles. Ms Dundas said earlier that this government tries to keep dodging legal interference. If only it did. It goes to the courts, somebody comes up with something out of left field, it has no idea that it is going to hit it and it does not know how to approach the issue in the courts.

I feel sorry for Mr Wood because he is between Scylla and Charybdis in relation to this issue. Ms Tucker quoted from an article written by Tim Bonyhady-a contemporary from my old alma mater-who said that it was a terrible thing for the government to


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