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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 2593..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

16 August 1975, eight long years after the Gurindji people left Wave Hill, pouring a handful of Daguragu sand through the fingers of Vincent Lingiari, when he said:

On this great day, I, Prime Minister of Australia, speak to you on behalf of the Australian people—all those who honour and love this land we live in.

For them I want to say to you:

I want to acknowledge that we Australians have still much to do to redress the injustice and oppression that has for so long been the lot of Black Australians.

Vincent Lingiari I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof, in Australian law, that these lands belong to the Gurindji people and I put into your hands part of the earth itself as a sign that this land will be the possession of you and your children forever.

To which Lingiari replied:

We are mates now.

It was a powerful scene—and I do not think anyone can deny that—and a powerful thought, considering that in 1969 the Liberal government refused to even discuss the issue of eight square kilometres being given back to the Gurindji community. I conclude by reciting the title of a famous Paul Kelly song: From little things, big things grow.

Planning—EpiCentre lease

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (6.18): I take the opportunity to comment briefly on some of the goings-on with EpiCentre, particularly in light of the tabling by the planning minister of the document that we were asking for. The minister has tabled a document dated 6 October 2005, which was a response to ING's request for information. The response came from the LDA, even though the question initially went to ACTPLA. ING wrote to ACTPLA on 23 September 2005 formally requesting that ACTPLA confirm whether or not discount outlet retailing was to be a permitted use under amendment 175 to the territory plan as it relates to the site and under the terms of the EpiCentre EOI, with which we presume ACTPLA are closely familiar.

After that, we saw, from documents we have managed to get from the planning and environment committee, correspondence between ACTPLA and the LDA. We have email correspondence with, essentially, an agreed response. The agreed response was that the LDA, not ACTPLA, would respond to ING. Essentially, the answer to their questions on variation 175 to the territory plan was that they would leave them to work it out for themselves. The response of 6 October states in part:

The range of permissible uses and their definitions is evident in the Plan. The onus lies with the prospective proponents to consider the provisions of the Plan and formulate their own conclusions as to whether the permissible uses accord with their aspirations for the site.

That letter was agreed to by both agencies, ACTPLA and the LDA, and was cc'd to Garrick Calnan of the ACT Planning and Land Authority. That contrasts with the record of discussion of a meeting on 4 October in which Austexx and ACTPLA met. That was two days before that letter went from the LDA, in which we have the words:


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