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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2106 ..

Planning Process Review

MS HORODNY: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning, Mr Humphries. Do not turn to the animal welfare section, Mr Humphries. Yesterday the ACT Planning Authority publicly released a draft report on six internal working groups titled "Process Review Implementation". The deadline for public comment was set by the authority as 13 November. This gives barely two weeks for external comment on what has taken the authority 18 months to develop. On Tuesday the Minister was asked about the unrealistic amount of time given to LAPACs to comment on variation 33, so how does the Minister justify this amount of time?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank the drowsy pixie for her question. I am sorry; I do not know why I said that. I beg your pardon. I withdraw.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Planning Authority is undergoing a process of consultation on a number of initiatives that have been in train with the authority. I am not quite sure what Ms Horodny is referring to. I think she is talking about one of the many processes to do with the process review. Surprising as it may seem, I do not actually sit down and approve the press releases and documentation issued in all cases by the authority, and I am not aware of the particular document to which she refers. I will find out for her and give her an answer on notice.

MS HORODNY: I will ask a supplementary question anyway. You can find this out as well. Is the Minister aware that the Planning Authority intends to implement the changes in the draft report before it has fully assessed the public input it has sought? Is this not contrary to standard practice, where the implementation follows consideration of public input?

MR HUMPHRIES: No, I am not aware of that, but I will find out.

Mental Health Crisis Team

MR CONNOLLY: My question is to Mrs Carnell. I refer the Minister for Health to her statement earlier this week in relation to mental health legislation and her glowing comments about the importance of Mental Health Week. Minister, I understand that, as a result of the policies of your Government, the mental health crisis team has been operating for the past four months with only five of its staffing complement of nine. I understand further that the committed nurses and professionals on that team have been working under quite enormous pressure in recent months to continue to provide services, and, indeed, one officer has worked for 18 consecutive days with no break. I understand that last night, despite staff being prepared to work overtime to provide a service, health management, in accordance with your policies, refused to authorise overtime. As a result, last night, for the first night in four years, there was no mental health crisis team on duty. Is this the case?

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