Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2691 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
if such a statement were not the tool that was used to assess the particular impact of a proposal for such a road. The social impact is more difficult to assess, in a sense. That is an element of any environmental impact statement as well, but it may be that something further than the ordinary EIS is required in this particular case to satisfy that requirement.
In the sense that the Greens are foreshadowing their views about the way in which this will be handled, it is useful to have this debate now, but when the proposals are firmer and the options are in more urgent need of exploration - and Mr Wood has indicated that will be some time in the next three years, if not sooner - there will need to be a further debate about just what steps we undertake.
Ms Follett: Get it all finished within a couple of years.
MR HUMPHRIES: I am sure that Ms Follett would be very happy for us to finish it before we left office. If we bow out before Christmas, you might have to do it yourself, Ms Follett. I am sorry; I cannot necessarily satisfy you.
Mr Speaker, as I said, this motion does not cause us a great problem. We accept the issues being raised in this way. We believe that it is important for us to be able to ensure that the work is done in that context. I hope members will accept that there will need to be trade-offs in this process. No construction of a major road of this dimension can possibly be carried out without there being some impact on all of those issues that are referred to in this motion. Obviously, we hope we choose the option that provides the least impact on these things, but there will be some impact. That is unquestionably going to be the case, and I hope that when we have the debate about what that impact should be we can have it in a sensible way and can balance the needs of the people of Gungahlin against the needs of people in North Canberra for recreational and ecologically sensitive areas.
MR KAINE (10.59): Mr Speaker, the Minister has spoken for the Government; but I believe that I do have some background and experience in this, being a former Planning Minister, and, having been involved in matters affecting John Dedman Parkway and Monash Drive over a period of close to 20 years, I have an interest in the subject. There are two things that intrigue me about motions of this kind. One is their generality. If we take notice of this motion, then the Planning Authority can do nothing whatsoever. I do not think we can impose that kind of blanket constraint on a planning authority that we have set up with the purpose of planning the Territory. We may not agree with their final product, but how can we put this sort of blanket constraint on what they can do? I find it a little strange that anybody would want to put the handcuffs on the Planning Authority in such a way that they cannot do anything.
Secondly, when Ms Tucker put this motion forward, did she do any research to see what this Assembly and its predecessor bodies have done on this matter? This matter has been on the agenda time and time again over many years, and from what has been said here this morning it will be obvious that there is a broad consensus of view, first of all, that Monash Drive should never happen. I know that it is still shown on the NCPA's plan, but I think the expression of opinion by the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment and its predecessor bodies over many years and by this Assembly and its