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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 November 2021) . . Page.. 3891 ..


as the entire south side of Canberra. With a multitude of options that are available for use of our dry lands, it is extremely important that widespread consultation is conducted with the community to find the best ideas. After more than 20 years in government, it is clear that effective consultation is still not a strong suit of this government—or perhaps it has grown so confident that it feels that consultation is beneath it.

This was shown just recently in its consultation regarding the William Hovell Drive duplication, as my colleague Mr Peter Cain has mentioned. Initially, minimal effort was made to reach out to Hawker residents and the wider Belconnen community to get their thoughts on the duplication. To preserve the integrity of their green space, residents had to take consultation into their own hands and reach out to their community organisations and councils rather than the government reaching out to the community as was supposed to have happened. I am happy to report that through the combined action of these residents, they were able to extend the consultation period and have their voices heard.

I believe Mr Cain’s amendment is complementary to Ms Clay’s motion in that it places the future of these dryland ovals squarely in the hands of local residents. A commitment from this government to exclude our dryland ovals from future residential and commercial development would allow community groups and neighbourhoods to gather and collaborate on ideas. The best and most creative ideas for how to use these dryland ovals will be identified through effective consultation, but that will only be possible if the government will genuinely commit to conducting it. I commend this motion to the Assembly. Thank you.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.49): I support Ms Orr’s amendment to Mr Cain’s amendment to my motion. It is a bit of a shame that we had a really rapid amendment from the floor. I have managed to speak to Mr Cain several times about this motion, and it is the first time he raised it.

Part of the problem with amendments like that is that planning law is really hard. I have been chairing the planning committee for a year. I have learned a huge amount, and there is so much more to learn. We were a bit concerned when we saw the first version of Mr Cain’s amendment because the first thing we thought was, “What if the community wants a coffee cart, a dog park, a fete or an art show on their oval?” That form of words might have actually stopped those community projects from taking place in that space.

That is an indication of the problem with trying to run legislation or policy really fast, without pausing and thinking and talking to one another. That means we need to talk to our community. It is also really good when we talk to each other about what we think the community wants, and about the best way to move forward. We get better results when we do that—when we work collaboratively, and then we really can solve those things.

Ms Orr has come up with a really good way to amend the amendment. I note that our original motion already covered the ground very well. The motion reads that “the ACT government values dryland ovals as a community and recreational space and


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