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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 551..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

murder because of the nature of that particular crime, its seriousness and the importance of ensuring that the prosecution is as able to present and deliver as it can possibly be. It is in the interests of my office, and also in the interests of the Canberra community, to engage counsel to prosecute the case of murder."I believe those are relevant and real considerations. Even some of the prosecutions involving major fraud are complex and difficult because of their very technical nature. We have a small office in a small jurisdiction. It may be that, in relation to specific crimes or in relation to a particular matter, there is not a single prosecutor in that small office who has had any experience in relation to particular sorts of crime. In that circumstance it would be surprising indeed if the director did not look to engage outside counsel.

Turning to the comparison with New South Wales, in the ACT we have a director and a deputy director. In New South Wales-I think in Sydney alone-there are something like 70 or 80 prosecutors of the seniority of the Deputy Director of Prosecutions in the ACT. We are talking figures of that magnitude in relation to the sizes of offices and, of course, the requisite experience, or the experience that is developed in a much larger jurisdiction. Mr Stefaniak, I do not have the detail but I am more than happy to take advice on both the question and the supplementary and provide that to the Assembly.

Belconnen to Civic busway

MRS DUNNE: My question is directed to Mr Corbell in his capacity as minister for transport and planning. In August 2001 in this place you said, in relation to Bruce and O'Connor ridges:

This is an area widely recognised for its diversity as a nature conservation area, particularly for a range of bird and wildflower species.

Yet, today on ABC radio, when talking about the proposed busway through this area, you said:

The assessments ... show that the area ... is not high value bushland in terms of its ecological value.

Minister, when did you have your Damascus-like conversion on the environmental values of Bruce and O'Connor ridges?

MR CORBELL: The detailed investigations that ACT Planning and Land Authority have done over the last 12 to 18 months have given me-and I think the government-a better understanding of the ecosystem in that area. Those are issues that should be taken into account. I remain open to looking at the evidence and looking at the value of areas based on the most recent assessments. That is what I have done in this case.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, do you think it permissible to tear up a nature park for a busway, when it is not permissible to tear up the same nature park for a road?

MR CORBELL: There is real value in the project I have outlined today and the two route options that will be the subject of further assessment. The government has identified two routes for assessment that will, first, inform government decision making


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