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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 2971 ..

Mr Berry: If you have read it, what does it say on page 171?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, the question is asked of Mr Humphries, not you.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Kaine for the question. It is a very timely one. I see members opposite waving around the Stein report. Mr Speaker, I have already put on record in the public arena my comments about the Stein report and I have indicated that there are some areas in that report which the Government will be addressing positively. I also feel that there are some comments now in the air, from this report and from other reports, and general comments made by other members of the public, about the competency of staff in the Planning Authority which ought to be put to rest very quickly. The Government has said that it accepts elements of the report, but those involved in the Planning Authority and the Land Division of the Department of Urban Services are staff for whom I have the very greatest respect. I believe they are doing a very difficult job very well.

Mr Speaker, the reason this question is timely is that the opinion that I have expressed today about that subject is not merely my view; it also is the view of the Royal Australian Planning Institute, which last night gave two awards to the Planning Authority. The first was for community planning for the Gungahlin Town Centre area draft variation. I think the whole Assembly will join with me - I hope they will - particularly members of the Planning and Environment Committee, in welcoming that acknowledgment of the very great deal of hard work the Planning Authority put into making that one of the best town centre blueprints, I think, we could expect to see anywhere in the world. Mr Speaker, I believe that is an appropriate response to that very great deal of hard work which reflects very well on those people.

I am also pleased to advise the house that the Planning Authority has won a second award in conjunction with the other members of the ACT and Sub-region Planning Committee.

Mr Connolly: Congratulations, George. George gets the door.

Ms McRae: That is right. This is really good. It is what you get if you do a good job. Whom are you sacking next?


MR HUMPHRIES: As members would know, that committee has produced a strategy, with 13 accompanying position papers, which bring together substantial research about regional resources, environmental management, settlement patterns and infrastructure linkages. The strategy, designed for the year when 5,600 people will live in this area, shows the great cooperation that can occur between local and State governments on matters of mutual interest. Mr Speaker, I think that our planners will continue to administer the system competently and it is up to us law-makers - - -

Ms Follett: George will not.

Mr Connolly: George has gone.

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