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The Government will seek to strike a badly needed balance in our planning regime. To those who say “another review”, I say that it is the duty of any government to review a system which lacks the confidence of the people it serves. I would be surprised if all the people in Canberra who are fully content with our planning system could fill the seats in the chamber's press gallery, let alone the public gallery. Should we not work to change that environment? This statement is a beginning to that process. This is about planning for the next generation, not the next election. I commend this statement to the house. I present the following paper:
Planning for the next generation - Ministerial statement, 22 June 1995.
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
MR WOOD (3.46): I have to say at the outset that I am immensely surprised by this statement, not because it has been made but because of what it does not say. Mr Humphries has indicated his approach to planning. Regrettably, it is very much a stop-start approach, as I will indicate in my fairly brief comments. I add that there is a lot of rhetoric about planning under the previous Government that is certainly not matched by the actions that Mr Humphries proposes to take.
First of all, he mentioned the region. He seemed to suggest by his words that he had launched Canberra on a regional approach. Recently, with Mr Howe, he launched a regional planning document. Mr Humphries should realise that that document did not emerge out of nothing. Mr Kaine and certainly Ms Follett would be very interested to hear that nothing had happened until Mr Humphries arrived on the scene. Regional planning has been under way in Canberra and its region for a very long time. Mr Humphries launched the outcome of a lot of work; he did not suddenly start something.
My greatest surprise comes from the comments that Mr Humphries made about drawing up a strategic plan. I indicated in my response to Lansdown that we would go down this path. Members will reflect that that was immediately prior to the election. Because it was such a significant task to undertake, especially the choice of the person who would do the study, I did not think I should proceed ahead of the election. I certainly hoped that I would be part of the process after the election. That was not to be the case. I did not proceed with what was ready at that time, late in December, even into January, with the election pending.
I expected that the new Government, when they were elected, would act immediately on that work. Today, three months later, I would have expected Mr Humphries to stand up and announce exactly what is going to happen, who is going to do it and what the parameters are to be. Today Mr Humphries has said, “We are going to start work to get around to doing it”. We have had three months when we should have been moving well down the path in that direction and we have got nowhere. It appears that from today we are to start to think about it. That is the greatest surprise of all. I thought that we would have in front of us the clear direction that we were going to take and the name of the person who was going to do the work. Some of my expectations were quite wrong.