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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 September 2005) . . Page.. 3469 ..


commonwealth has maintained an intransigent position of no addition—the commonwealth, without any explanation, has simply ignored and refuses to engage in the ACT government’s commitment to the redevelopment, in a sustainable way, of a living community.

As a result of the intransigence and the deadlock, there was a joint standing committee inquiry of the federal parliament. That committee essentially recommended—not to put too fine a point on it—that the two governments come together, sit down, negotiate, deal, compromise and meet the needs of both governments and the residents of Pierces Creek. We were simply asking for 50 houses. Immediately that report was tabled—

Mrs Burke: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Standing order 118A relates to relevance. With respect, Chief Minister, I asked you: what are the impediments at the territory government level? You have not answered the question at all yet.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Burke, you also made some comment about the commonwealth. You cannot expect the Chief Minister to ignore the comments you made in the lead up to your question.

Mrs Burke: I’ve got 25 seconds. If the Chief Minister could answer the question—

MR SPEAKER: It was your point of order Mrs Burke.

MR STANHOPE: In relation to Pierces Creek, I compromised immediately. I moved immediately from an optimal position of 50 houses to 25. The commonwealth government refuses to budge an inch. Out of sheer stubbornness, it will not move an inch. It has not negotiated; it will not deal; it will not explain—it simply says “no”.

MR SPEAKER: The minister’s time has expired.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Chief Minister, when will the territory government stop using the tragedy to place profit over people in this matter and formally advise the commonwealth and, more importantly, the former residents of Pierces Creek, that it intends to rebuild the lost public housing properties?

MR STANHOPE: This is the same sort of whining nastiness that has become a hallmark of Mrs Burke in this place. The sneering nastiness that underlines every statement or question made is a hallmark of yours, Mrs Burke.

Mr Quinlan: It lowers this place.

MR STANHOPE: It certainly lowers the tone and the standard.

Mr Stefaniak: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think “nastiness”—and he has said it about three times—is a reflection on a member.

MR SPEAKER: I think he was reflecting on the question.

MR STANHOPE: I was, but I have risen above it. But you do demean yourself, Mrs Burke. As I said, at every step, the ACT government has sought to achieve


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