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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4830 ..


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (3.49): For the information of members and pursuant to section 132 of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991, I present public environment reports, together with the relevant assessment, any notice given under sections 129 or 130, and any report, comment or written information submitted under sections 127, 129 or 130, for three proposals: The proposed soccer stadium and associated facilities for the Belconnen Soccer Club on section 71, McKellar; the proposed Tuggeranong Hyperdome extension; and the proposed Woden Plaza redevelopment. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

Pursuant to section 132 of the Act, I am now tabling that information, together with my evaluations of those three public environment reports. The three reports are the three I have just mentioned. In each case, my evaluation includes an assessment of the adequacy of the report, a statement of any environmental impacts which I identify, reports of the round table conferences held, and my recommendations for any conditions subject to which the proposals might be approved.

The PER on the McKellar proposal was submitted to my delegate by the proponent on 8 November. The PER prepared by Gutteridge Haskins and Davey on behalf of the proponent adequately identifies all environmental impacts and means for amelioration of the proposal. Both the Concerned Residents Network and Ms Horodny raised concerns about a number of legal issues. The first of these was the fact that the expanded scoping direction was not gazetted. Legal advice is that this second direction was not required to be gazetted, and it is important to note that, as the revised requirements arose out of the round table conference process, all interested parties were aware of them.

There was, however, a technical problem relating to the identification of objectives in the PER which was drawn to my attention by the Concerned Residents Network. In response, I sought a revision to the PER, which has now been made. I understand that the PER, as now revised and tabled, complies with the provisions of the relevant legislation, including the regulations. I also obtained advice from the Attorney-General's Department on the concerns raised by Ms Horodny and some community groups about the consideration of the alternatives. This advice confirms my own judgment that the PER is adequate in relation to this aspect because none of the proposed alternative sites identified by the community was viable in terms of the proponent's objectives.

I understand that during the last round table conference a concern was raised about some documents. The documents in question refer to correspondence between a consultant and the proponent about the assessment of the alternative sites. I have seen the documents, Mr Speaker. I, too, had a concern. However, my role in this process is assessing whether the evaluation has responded to what is set out in the scoping and the regulations. As I said earlier, my judgment is that the PER is adequate, and this is confirmed by the legal advice I mentioned earlier. As it were to clear the air, I think documents should be made available, and I seek leave to table them.

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