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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3854..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

questions of your department when you read the report of the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity?

MS GALLAGHER: I have answered that question a number of times. I refer the member to the ministerial statement I made in the Assembly in February this year that answers all those questions.

Trees in Nettlefold Street, Belconnen

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Minister for Environment. A freedom of information request has indicated that on 15 October 2003 an Environment ACT officer contacted the developer of the Nettlefold Street site to ask when construction and removal of trees on that site would take place. Minister, is it normal practice for Environment ACT to hurry up developers about when they will undertake environmental destruction and construction work, and is this part of its core business?

MR STANHOPE: I am not sure whether you would describe it as core business, but certainly Environment ACT has a healthy, enduring and continuing interest in all aspects of the ACT environment. Certainly there was a very lively debate regarding trees in Nettlefold Street. I would be surprised if Environment ACT did not take an interest in the progress at that time. I think it is quite unremarkable that officers of Environment ACT would continue to take a keen interest in an issue that excited considerable community interest. So, I commend Environment ACT for its diligence.

MS DUNDAS: I have a supplementary question. Considering that answer and given that it has now been seven months since the trees in Nettlefold Street were removed, has Environment ACT been in contact with the developer of the site since those trees were removed to find out when further construction will take place? If not, what contact has the government had with the developer of that site about the ongoing development on the site?

MR STANHOPE: I do not know the detail or the time lines in relation to the involvement of ACT officials in a significant development in Belconnen. I applaud the fact that we have significant corporate citizens in this town-small and significant business-prepared to continue to invest. It is really pleasing to see that we have a well-established Canberra and national business investing in Belconnen. We can be very pleased about the level of economic activity and the level of construction and development that is going on. It pleases my heart whenever I move around Canberra to see the level of activity, the level of investment and the level of confidence there is in the Canberra community, generated of course by the very significant management of this government over the past three years. We have a vibrant economy-

Mrs Cross: On a point of order. It is relevance. This is irrelevant to the question. The Chief Minister should stick to the issue.

MR SPEAKER: No, it is about development on a site in Belconnen.

Mrs Cross: He is talking about business in Belconnen. It has nothing to do with the trees.

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