Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2451 ..
MR BERRY (continuing):
This has been a phoney exercise from the start and it has been a disaster for the ACT community. It might have appeared to be a colourful little stunt to pull early in a government. Mrs Carnell came bouncing out telling us all that she had swapped away a prime piece of land for a small portion of industrial land. We have yet to address all of those issues of pollution, PCBs and so on. To use Mrs Carnell's terminology, the list goes on. There are pollution problems out there that are yet to be exposed. We know that all of the Commonwealth revenue assistance that was provided will be soaked up, and then some, by the development that has been proposed in this dud deal.
Mrs Carnell and others have been trumpeting their advice that if it is polluted the developer will fix it and it will not cost anything. What nonsense! Do you think a developer is going to buy a piece of polluted land and not discount it for the level of pollution that he or she has to clean up? Of course they will not. They did not come down in the last shower. Not even when there is a Liberal government in power would anybody be silly enough to do that, and they certainly would not take their word for it. This issue is yet to be fully resolved, and there is a committee that is looking at the matter.
Mr Humphries: You have fully resolved it. You know exactly what you want to do. It is a dud deal, according to you. So much for the committee inquiry.
MR BERRY: It is a dud deal because it has already soaked up the Commonwealth revenue assistance - - -
Mr Humphries: You will be open-minded about the finding, will you?
MR BERRY: At least we have spent a bit of time looking at it. You have spent none. Mrs Carnell, with the open and consultative council style of government, disappeared off to a meeting on national matters and, all of a sudden, bounced back with a big beaming smile on her face and saying, "I have done it. The deal is done. You should be very happy that I have done this deal. I have got $15.5m. It is going to cost us a lot more than that of course, but do not worry about it".
Mr Hird: Eight months?
MR BERRY: There was not an auction involved. This was not an auction; this was a give-away - and the Commonwealth was laughing. They were wetting themselves with laughter because this is the sort of deal that everybody would like to get their little hands on. They saw an amateur come on the scene and they grabbed it with both hands. Mrs Carnell has let this Territory down badly. This deal on the Kingston foreshore is going to worry the Territory long after Mrs Carnell is gone. It is a flash-in-the-pan deal, a quick headline and dump the Territory in it, because they are the ones that are going to have to deliver the goods long after she is out of this place.
I think Division 230 is another demonstration of the failure of this Government to respond to its election promises on a few grounds. The first one, of course, is responsible management. They have not delivered it, though it was trumpeted loud and long. As for consultation, after looking at this budget and working through it line by line, I do not think they could even spell the word.