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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1808 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Because of that, the second stage assessment looked at issues which, in the view of the people assessing the PA, were much more live issues in the Belconnen community: General amenity to nearby households, noise, and traffic problems. They were the three significant environmental issues as determined by the PA. For that reason, the terms of reference of the public environment report include those things principally - not the issue of water quality, which was covered in the initial assessment.

MS HORODNY: I ask a supplementary question. The preliminary assessment was essentially an engineers report and did not cover the very issues that I am talking about. Submissions that were sent in during that assessment covered this very important issue but have been ignored in the terms of reference of the EIA that is under way at the moment, so I ask the question again: Why have those issues been ignored?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I reject the assertion in this question that they were ignored. They were an intrinsic part of the initial preliminary assessment of the environmental impact of this development on that site. I saw the press release the Greens issued on this subject, which suggested that the people who are proposing a particular development have been given the carriage of the preliminary assessment. The press release implied that the Government was letting the people whose interest it is to see this go ahead do the work on the environmental impact. That may be the case, but that is not the result of any Government decision, Ms Horodny. It is the result of legislation that passed through this place with, as I recall, unanimous support. That legislation provided that proponents of development ought to be responsible for their own preliminary assessment. You criticised the assessment done at Mawson for the same reason. If you do not like that process, you should prepare amendments to the Land (Planning and Environment) Act so that we can guarantee some different method of doing it. We have no choice but to put it through that particular wringer, because that is the way the legislation is drafted. I reject the suggestion that this was not properly assessed in the early stage. I invite Ms Horodny to examine the evidence put before the Planning Authority and the work done by the Planning Authority on assessing the validity of that preliminary assessment. If she has further concerns, I am happy to discuss them with her.

Taxi Licence Auction

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services. I refer Mr De Domenico to the advertisement in Saturday's Canberra Times indicating that 15 taxi licences were due to be auctioned on Wednesday, 25 October. Can the Minister advise what process was used to decide who would auction these plates? How many auctioneers applied? What criteria were used to decide which auctioneer got the job? Who got the job? What arrangements exist for paying commission to the successful auctioneer? How much will the auctioneer be paid?

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