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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (26 May) . . Page.. 596 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

My colleague Mr Rugendyke has roughly gone over my reasons in relation to the matter. This site is a significant one. It is a focal point one way or another in that important part of our city, and one which is of interest to the nearby community. Some members of the community may have wished to avail themselves of the opportunity to talk to their elected members. That will not be available to them.

Mr Humphries: What rubbish!

MR BERRY: There has already been mention of the various local area planning advisory committees. Mr Humphries interjects again. These little prompts are most helpful to undermine the Government's understanding and willingness to consult with the community. He says, "What rubbish", in response, I suppose, to my taunt that they have not had the opportunity to meet with their elected members in a committee process. Well, they have not, and it is going to be taken away from them, Mr Humphries. The fact of the matter is that this - - -

Mr Humphries: It was not a problem for you six months ago. You have changed your tune in six months, haven't you?

Mr Smyth: They have a different piper now, Gary.

Mr Humphries: That is right, yes.

Mr Smyth: He does not like the tune now.

Mr Humphries: You were all in favour of pressing ahead six months ago.


MR BERRY: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is a public access to elected members issue which ought to have been made available. It would have made no difference at all to the settlement of the matter, and it would have sent a message to the nearby community and others who might be interested that this Assembly is serious about consultation for the community. If there is any error in my position in relation to this, it is erring on the side of consultation. That is something that the Government will never be found guilty of.

MR HIRD (4.55): Mr Speaker, I rise not to take part in the debate but to inform the house as to why I stood down as chair of the Urban Services Standing Committee.

Mr Berry: That is good. That is a novel way of doing it. Ha, ha, ha!

MR HIRD: When laughing fellow over there finishes interjecting, Mr Speaker - - -

Mr Berry: Well, you still make a joke out of yourself.

MR HIRD: Do not look in the mirror; you will find a joke. The fact is that I am a life member of the local rugby league and I am also deputy president of the Leagues Club. Therefore, it would be improper of me to participate in the debate or in the deliberations of the committee. That is the rationale behind my withdrawing from this very important matter.

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