Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 106 ..
opposition and said, “We have seen surveyors. Can you tell us what is going on, please?” Mrs Jones wrote to the Chief Minister asking, “Are there any plans for development on the Holder site?” The Chief Minister wrote back and said, “No.” What we found out was that that was not true. What we now know is that a development application has been lodged for public housing on that site.
What Mrs Jones got was a letter from the Chief Minister saying, “No, that is not true.” I actually got nothing back from Mr Gentleman. I wrote on 14 June; no response. So I then wrote again on 28 September. I said that I had made representations on 14 June, that 30 business days had passed. In fact, significantly more than 30 business days had passed. I asked, “What is going on?” No response. I then wrote again on 22 November. I said that I wrote on 14 June, that I wrote on 28 September and that there was no response. I asked, “What is going on?” There was nothing from the minister.
In consultation with Ms Lawder, who was then the shadow planning minister, she wrote earlier this year, with a similar representation, asking, “What is going on?” There was no response. There were four letters from the opposition from the period of June last year and still no response from the minister.
We hear from this government about consultation. We talk about open government. What we have here from the planning minister, and from the government more generally, is a pattern of behaviour. When there is a clear plan from the government to develop a suburban site and members of the local community ask, “Can you let us know at least what is going on?” we either get letters from the government that are misleading, that are untrue, or we just get a deliberate silence from the minister so that the community is kept in the dark.
That is a disgraceful way to run a government when what is clearly happening is that either sites are flogged off to make room for public housing, as a result of the sale of the Northbourne sites, or in this case a site is flogged off when there seems to be no clear plan. There may be, but we are just not being told about it.
I am very disappointed. Members of the community are very disappointed not only in the fact that O’Malley is going to lose this site, a piece of green space that is going to cause problems for parking and traffic within O’Malley, but also because of the despicable way that this government is now treating its community by either misleading them or failing to give them information about their own community, about what is happening in their suburb.
I support the position of the O’Malley community to put a pause on this, to stop what is being proposed until we have a very clear consultation process that is open, that addresses all of the issues from the residents or, if it cannot address those issues, this is taken off the table. We hope that the government respond to this petition in a more timely way than they have responded to the four pieces of correspondence from the opposition.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.10), by leave: I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with an awful lot of what Mr Hanson has said. We both attended