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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1207 ..

Acton Peninsula

MS REILLY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Maybe I will have more luck. Chief Minister, during your meeting with the Prime Minister, at which it is becoming increasingly clear that you achieved absolutely nothing, and given that you have already had the report from the Planning Committee on the Kingston-Acton land swap, what explanation and assurances did you receive from the Prime Minister as to what the Commonwealth intends to do with Acton Peninsula now that it is clear that the Federal Liberal Government intends to co-locate the Gallery of Aboriginal Australia with the National Museum somewhere else?

MRS CARNELL: My understanding of the Federal Liberal policy is that they are planning to do a feasibility study or to have a study to ensure that Yarramundi is the best site for the whole museum. In fact, I think they have put aside about $2m for that study to make sure that Yarramundi is the appropriate site. As we in this place would be aware, Yarramundi has been the preferred site of this Assembly, but the Federal Government is now to spend a not insignificant amount of money ensuring that that is the case. What the Prime Minister did undertake at the meeting was to set some definite timeframes for phase one of the museum complex - something we could never get out of the previous Government at all. I think that was a very definite step in the right direction. What the Prime Minister, I think rightly, said was that he believed that Acton was a site of national significance and should be perceived as such.

MS REILLY: I ask a supplementary question. What is now the purpose of the Kingston-Acton land swap if we do not know what the Commonwealth intends to do with the Acton site?

MRS CARNELL: The reality is that I am interested in that question because this side of the Assembly has always believed that the Acton site should be a site of national significance. We are at one with the new Federal Government along those lines, which means that contrary to the proposal - - -

Mr Berry: With just a big sign on it, "Site of national significance"?

Mr Hird: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I draw your attention to standing orders 39 and 37. If Mr Berry continues to do what he is doing, sir, use standing order 202. You will be applauded from this side of the house.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, we are at one with the Federal Government on this. We believe that the Acton site should be for something of national significance. One of the things I can tell you, Mr Speaker, is that we do not support what the previous Government supported - that is, public housing on Acton Peninsula. In fact, I seem to remember that Ms Follett made the point that the site was worth $45m. It was worth $45m if you did what with the site? It was worth that if you put housing and commercial space on it. We will not be doing that. Our very strong approach is that it should be a site of national significance and that Kingston foreshore should go ahead to provide jobs, to provide investment and to provide a space that will be very exciting for the people of Canberra.

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