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Hansard . . Page.. 240 ..


MR BERRY (3.17): I seek leave to move a motion that has been circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: I move:

That no negotiations occur, including those with the Commonwealth, no agreements or contracts be signed, no tenders be let, and no further taxpayers' money be spent on Acton Peninsula or Kingston Foreshore development plans before the Planning and Environment Committee hands down its report.

Mr Speaker, a large number of questions have been asked about the land swap which was arranged by the Liberals shortly after coming to government, but the principal point that I want to raise is that this Government has said that it has a strong commitment to open and consultative government. It has also said, and I quote Mrs Carnell from Hansard of 2 May 1995:

There is no way that this Government is going to ride roughshod over the top of a committee hearing that is under way.

It is very clear from the answers today that Mrs Carnell intends to proceed with negotiations with the Commonwealth, notwithstanding the hearings and examination of this issue which are being undertaken by the committee which has been put in place by this Assembly. If Mrs Carnell thinks that on the one hand she can say, “I will continue with those negotiations”, and then try to rationalise that with the statement that she is not going to ride roughshod over the top of a committee hearing that is under way, I think it will be a long time before she is able to prove that to anybody. The facts of the matter are that there is a committee process under way. There are negotiations which Mrs Carnell and the Government intend should proceed to finality, notwithstanding that members of this committee are putting their time and effort into a committee process which aims to come up with a recommendation for this Assembly.

That is grossly unfair. In fact, I think it lacks honesty. I do not think the promise of open and consultative government will stand up to any sort of scrutiny when those sorts of statements are being made. You cannot say one thing on the one hand, say another on the other hand and pretend that they are the same. They are not. Given the examination of this issue that the committee on which I sit has undertaken, I am absolutely certain that those negotiations would impinge upon areas about which that committee would be concerned. I think it is quite improper for the Government to proceed down that path without the benefit of a committee report to this Assembly. After all, it is the majority of this Assembly that put in place that committee process. People have committed themselves to serve on it, and they expect to be respected by this Assembly as a whole. That feature of this motion is a very important one.

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