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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3686..


MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I can now prove to you that Dr Foskey does not listen when she has been given an explanation. No more than two minutes ago I explained that to her. I have explained to Dr Foskey that it is very doubtful indeed that people in this town do not have access to a telephone; it is very doubtful. There are some, however, who may have no access to a telephone. We also know, and I will say it yet again, that most of the newsagencies round town have an Australia Post outlet and all of the business can be transacted through them. Indeed, in Civic, the Australia Post outlet, for Dr Foskey's information, is between the two segments of the Canberra Centre. People have an opportunity, as I have said, to perform a whole range of activities there.

With respect to the Civic library, programs are going to be available there pretty much straightaway, but I would guess definitely from January, whereby there will be education and training, if you like, for people who do not know how to access the internet to pay their bills, who do not have a PC at home on which they can do that. The PC system in the libraries will be available to them to do that. They will be available in the new Civic library, which is a stone's throw from the old place that they may or may not have used.

Furthermore, in recent times I have ruled out a charge for that service. There was a recommendation that I charge $1 an hour and I rejected it. I think, as I have said, that there are ample opportunities. There is internet access, which is available at the libraries. There is telephone access, and most people have access to a telephone. Credit card facilities are available and listed on the back of the forms. Eftpos is available through Australia Post. There is Australia Post itself if you want to go there and pay cash. I could go on, but I would address Dr Foskey's attention to the back of her next bill because, clearly, she has only looked at the front of it.

Planning—EpiCentre lease

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell, and it relates to the EpiCentre sale. Minister, when you appeared before the estimates committee on 21 June this year, you said:

All of the uses were very clearly spelt out to bidders before the auction occurred.

If this is true, why did the in-house counsel for ACTPLA write to the ACT Government Solicitor's Office asking whether there should be an addendum to the sale documents to "explain the appropriate interpretation of the territory plan in its application to this block"?

MR CORBELL: It is quite normal, when an inquiry is made of the planning authority and there is uncertainty as to whether or not interpretations are accurate, to get advice on that interpretation. That is what they did in this case. On conclusion of that advice, they decided that no further information or clarification was required.

It is very interesting that the opposition are relying on this legal advice which has been released under FOI, I understand, from the ACT Government Solicitor to the general counsel of ACTPLA. This advice says very clearly:


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