Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2693 ..
MR MOORE (11.06): Mr Speaker, I would like to pick up where Mr Kaine left off, saying that, basically, there are no new concepts in this idea. However, what I believe Ms Tucker has attempted to do is reinforce what has been considered by this Assembly and make sure that there are protections in place. It is always a concern to members of the Assembly that, when we appear to be agreed on things, other things go ahead. Therefore, it is appropriate that such a motion is put on the notice paper as a precautionary approach to ensure that the environment is appropriately protected, that the areas we consider valuable in Canberra are appropriately protected. Nevertheless, it has to be done in the context of the overall plan.
One of the difficulties here is the same difficulty that members of the Planning and Environment Committee have been wrestling with, not just this time around but on previous occasions, and that is the lack of an overall strategy that indicates where we should be protecting these areas and what our values are in terms of assessing the priorities. That is what these questions are almost always about: What are your priorities? Are they about a broad transport system that allows people to use their own cars? Are your priorities about a high-level public transport system that effectively competes with cars? Are they about forcing people, for example, onto a public transport system? How do these priorities marry? For that reason, what Ms Tucker has put up is a quite sensible motion.
There is one problem Mr Kaine alluded to, and I think it is something Ms Tucker has to be able to deal with. Perhaps Mr Kaine should have moved an amendment. Paragraph (3) of the motion reads:
carry out a full environmental and social impact assessment of the John Dedman Community Option as outlined in the report of the Joint Parliamentary committee of the ACT entitled Gungahlin's Transport Links.
If that is dismissed in terms of an overall strategy, it would be a bit pointless to go through that process. I presume the intention of Ms Tucker is that, before any planning work is carried out on that issue, we need to have carried out a full environmental and social impact study, based on that precautionary principle that it is better to be sure, and not get caught out in the way we were caught out on the Gungahlin Town Centre, where such an impact was not assessed prior to that option being considered seriously. Whilst the concept and direction of the motion is appropriate, the point Mr Kaine raised does need to be answered and perhaps dealt with by an amendment, unless you can explain to us how you see it. With that explained, I would have thought we would get fairly general agreement on this motion.
MS TUCKER (11.10), in reply: I thank members for their comments. Mr Kaine, I have been involved with this issue as a resident over the number of years that it has been discussed. I was part of the external travel study for Gungahlin, which was an interesting experience, and I am very well aware of the history of this whole issue. I put this motion forward because there was what Mr De Domenico claimed was a totally incorrect article in the Canberra Times some time ago saying that the Dedman option was being looked at again. I think it might be useful to give a resident's perspective on this issue now that I am in this place.