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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 3035 ..


been the Molonglo residents themselves that have asked for strong representation and strong opportunity to comment on the future of their group centre.

Group centres are not delivered automatically a certain number of years after a jurisdiction begins. I remember when I first moved to Higgins in 1969; it was not until 1976 before we saw—

Mrs Jones interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Davis): Minister Gentleman, resume your seat. Mrs Jones, that was, like, eight interjections in the space of a minute. If we could hear Minister Gentleman in silence, please?

MR GENTLEMAN: In short, we want to make sure we hear all the comments from those people in Molonglo as we develop the group centre.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (3.53): That speech from Minister Gentleman was an insult. That speech of three paragraphs was a complete insult, and I note now he has left the room. He is embarrassed. He is completely ashamed of this decision to put off yet again the development of the community’s commercial centre. I have written to Minister Gentleman for years asking when this commercial centre will come. I wrote to him for years asking when the bridge over the Molonglo would be built. And the answer never came until the federal government put money in. This government is very good at building new housing at exorbitant cost, charging people massive rates and not delivering to them the infrastructure they deserve.

Dr Paterson’s amendment to my motion, this community-led motion, to remove inconvenient truths from it is another example of why this government has lost the plot when it comes to delivering services to new areas like the Molonglo Valley. I think the community is just about sick of Minister Gentleman’s discussion about how when he was young, living somewhere else in the ACT, things took a long time to come as well. Well, I am glad that his view of planning in the ACT is that things never get any better! It has been 20 years of this system; there is nobody else to blame. It is this government’s fault that people are paying massive rates and do not know when the commercial centre is coming.

The minister also made the point in his speech that he needs to consult. I foreshadowed entirely that the excuses that would be used for delaying this thing would be consultation and COVID. But COVID has only disrupted government processes for around three months and consultation is a normal part of government.

It must be very frustrating for Minister Davidson and for Dr Paterson, who I know are great proponents of consultation, that it has not happened yet. This thing has been in train in the department since 2006. Why has there not been any consultation yet? I understand neither of you were here, but I was and I was asking for it and it was not forthcoming.

The proposed new paragraph (1)(d) is a way of hiding the two-year delay which the new land release program confirms. Incidentally, that will tie in nicely with the next


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