Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3963 ..
MRS CARNELL: Clearly, Mr Speaker, there is always room for further improvement, but before the Labor Party starts calling for the heads of senior public servants they should reflect on their own record. Let us not forget that this is the same Labor Party that, when in government, allowed their staff to rort meal allowances, waste thousands of dollars on big white hire cars and fly business class or first class because they did not like to be down the back with the normal people. Of course, they blew their Executive budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars. I make no apology for raising the standard of accountability and financial management. I think our senior bureaucrats deserve praise, not criticism.
Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on a point of order, I refer you to our standing order 118(b), which says that the answer to a question without notice shall not debate the subject to which the question refers and that the Speaker may direct a member to terminate an answer, and so on. Mr Speaker, may I request that you provide to the Assembly your understanding of that particular standing order.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, I would be happy to take that aboard for you.
MR MOORE: My question is directed to Mr Humphries as Minister for Planning and Minister for the Environment. So that I could get a detailed answer, I gave Mr Humphries some notice that I would be asking a question about the Gold Creek and Federation Square tourist area. I understand that the Government helpShop have been to Gold Creek and have been active in proposals to enhance the retailers' prospects in that area. I also understand that in the report that was made there was a recommendation that no further retail should be allowed in the area for at least two years. In spite of such a recommendation, has a further development been allowed at Federation Square stage 3? Has it been approved by you or your department and, if so, why, and why were the helpShop recommendations ignored?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, Mr Moore may have supplied me with notice of this question; but I have lost the answer that I was going to use, so I will have to wing it. It really is a question without notice now. The Government was certainly very mindful of some concerns by the retailers at Federation Square stages 1 and 2 when it considered the application for stage 3. In fact, there was considerable concern when stage 2 was built, because many of the retailers in stage 1 felt that there was duplication of retailing outlets in stage 2, and they saw stage 3 as being yet another example of how their businesses would be compromised by another round of proposals coming in. The Government sat down with the parties and talked about these issues at some length, to work through a possible way of dealing with the issue.
Mr Hird also raised some concerns with me on behalf of constituents who had retailing at stage 3. We said that stage 3, if it was to develop, would contain a number of things, including Aboriginal painting demonstrations, bush tucker and a shearing facility to show tourists shearing in action; but we said that retailing on that site would be limited, with the exception only of opals, to products or goods that were actually produced on the site.