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Gungahlin Town Centre

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning. Mr Humphries, the Liberal planning policy for the 1995 election stated, “A Liberal Government will therefore ensure the development of a town centre for the people of Gungahlin commences before the end of 1995 at the latest”, and the current Chief Minister has said, “I am amazed that Rosemary Follett is talking about an office complex at Gungahlin when we do not even have a shopping centre there”. Since it appears that the Chief Minister has no intention of fulfilling the Liberal election promise in this regard, can you advise the Assembly, and, more importantly, the residents of Gungahlin, when the town centre will now be commenced and what it will contain, since there will be no government office block and apparently no shopping centre?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, dear, oh dear! It really is quite irresponsible. It is amazing how irresponsible the people opposite are. The fact is that the people of the ACT, in all areas, can expect under this Government to have services provided to them as soon as is practically possible at a level which other citizens of the Territory enjoy. We have to make it quite clear that we are very much committed towards providing that town centre at a pace and an appropriate level which was not afforded by the Government with which you were associated before this Assembly came into being. I have to say, Mr Speaker, that this Government has retained its commitment towards an early commencement on the building of a town centre at Gungahlin. That is our promise. We will be proceeding faster than the previous Government even dreamt of proceeding.

I might indicate, Mr Speaker, on that question of Gungahlin providing a home for the officers of DELP, that this Opposition is a little bit blurred in its thinking about what happened in the last few months before it left office. Mr Speaker, I might refer members opposite to a minute which was given to the Chief Minister, dated 18 January 1996, which I understand she approved.

Mr Connolly: When?

MR HUMPHRIES: It is dated 1996. I am pretty certain that it referred to 1995.

Ms Follett: That is about as accurate as the rest of it.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the question is not whether the minute is accurate; the question is whether the Chief Minister at the time approved the contents of the minute. That is really the question, is it not? This minute of 18 January, we assume 1995, said, in the last substantive paragraph:

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