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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (26 May) . . Page.. 594 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

The second member of the committee, Mr Berry, considers that the draft variation should not be endorsed until the public is given further opportunity to comment on the proposal, for reasons that include the following: Firstly, the significance of the site, in planning terms, over many years, being so close to Civic and with a background of some controversy including with respect to commercial and residential development. Secondly, the concern of the Burley Griffin Local Area Planning Advisory Committee that the draft variation "is being used as a vehicle to resolve a conflict between private bodies". Thirdly, the concern of the same LAPAC that the draft variation "should not be seen as justification for similar arrangements on other restricted access recreation land". Fourthly, possible uncertainty about the public's right of access to public land that is given over to a limited company. Fifthly, the uncertainty about the full extent of consultation to date, especially given the fact that the public has not had the opportunity to input into the Assembly process. Finally, the short period of time available to committee members to consult the local community.

What Mr Berry and I do agree on is that the committee has done all it can at this stage. It is now up to the Assembly and the Government to take the matter further.

MR BERRY (4.47): As has already been said, I think, this is a matter that has been around for some time. There has been a dispute between parties associated with the parcel of land which has been referred to as Braddon section 30 block 1. It is true to say that the parties have had a long involvement in the matter. It is true to say that the Executive has had a long involvement in the matter. I must say that an Executive of different flavours has had a long involvement in the matter.

It is important to note that the consultation phase which has been carried out to this point has been managed by Planning and Land Management, and, in effect, in the wake of an Executive decision to endorse the plan - that is, to reach an agreement between the warring parties and come up with what they thought to be a resolution of the problem. That is a quite separate issue from public consultation being made available to the community with their elected members - that is, members of this Assembly who are non-Executive members of this Assembly. It is extremely important, where issues of possible controversy emerge, that this option is made available to the community so that they may, in the protected environment of the Assembly and its committee structure, give evidence to committees should they wish to do so.

It is true to say that there has been a circularisation by Planning and Land Management of a range of people which has resulted in some written submissions, but that is not to say that other people from within the community might not wish to offer verbal submissions. For example, the local area planning advisory committees which are referred to in the papers associated with this application would be the first people that I would invite to make a verbal contribution and to give evidence to the committee if it were - - -

Mr Humphries: They have made a contribution, have they not? They have made a contribution.

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