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Koori Mail . . Page.. 643 ..

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Humphries, in answer to the question you said that the commencement of the development of a town centre for Gungahlin would happen as soon as possible, or as soon as practicable, I think were the words. When is “as soon as practicable”, and is it before the end of 1995?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, as Mr Whitecross may know, there is one issue which this Government needs to resolve before it can set down a firm timetable for the construction of the Gungahlin Town Centre, and that is the appropriate way for the Government to deal with the habitat of Delma impar, otherwise known as our friend the legless lizard. This Government is concerned about being able to proceed with the Gungahlin Town Centre and concerned about providing an appropriate, ongoing habitat for that endangered species. As a result, Mr Speaker, we are, at this stage, finalising our strategy for dealing with that issue. When we have a strategy for dealing with that issue we will be able to finalise a timetable for the Gungahlin Town Centre. However, I can assure the members opposite that we do have a very firm commitment towards providing that town centre. It will happen. Work on that town centre will commence, I am quite confident, before the end of 1995.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I address my question to the Chief Minister. It is in relation to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council, which is in the process of being selected. What process was used to invite nominations for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council, what process will be used to decide who goes on this council, and was the Aboriginal community consulted about the processes which she chose to use?

MRS CARNELL: Thank you for that question. Ads have been placed in newspapers, including the Koori Mail. I have had discussions with the previous Chief Minister's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Council and a number of other Aboriginal groups in the ACT and surrounding areas about the composition and other important issues such as how the chair should be selected. With other consultative councils and in the past, the Chief Minister has selected the chair. A number of Aboriginal groups have put it to me that they would prefer to elect the chair from within the current consultative council. I have absolutely no problems with that, and I suggest that the new consultative council will elect their own chair. We have put ads in the newspapers, including the Koori Mail, and we have discussed it with people. We are interested in applications from whoever is interested.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Ms Tucker?

MS TUCKER: Yes. Part of that question was: How are you going to select the members of the council, not just the chair?

MRS CARNELL: When we have expressions of interest from various people, we have undertaken, as did the previous Government, to ensure that all the various groups in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community - and there are a number - will be represented on the new body.

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