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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (26 May) . . Page.. 601 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

In this case I must say, as a general principle on the way the committee operates, that I think Wayne Berry has it right. What he is saying is that a draft variation ought not be endorsed until the public is given further opportunity to comment on the proposal. The thinking behind that is that, although there is an opportunity for the public to comment through the processes of the bureaucracy, and they are very good processes, the community have always felt that on controversial planning issues, in particular, they want to put their views to the Assembly, and wherever it is possible for that to happen it should happen.

I can remember off the top of my head one exception by the previous Planning and Environment Committee. That was in relation to the development of aged persons units at St Andrew's Village in Deakin. I am sorry; it was not in Deakin. It was at Garran on Yamba Drive.

Mr Humphries: It is at Hughes.

MR MOORE: Hughes. We will get there - Deakin, Garran, Hughes. We made it finally. It was on Yarra Glen. In that case the committee decided, because of a series of time pressures and because there was widespread agreement already from the community and we had seen it, that we would pass that without using the public process. There were also a number of very minor variations to the Territory Plan about which we felt there was no conflict involved.

In this present case people talk about going back eight years. The problems and debate over Northbourne Oval began long before self-government. It was one of the early issues I remember being involved in when I became involved in planning issues in 1983 and 1984, or around that time. There has been long-term debate over this site. That is why, had I been on the Urban Services Committee, I believe that I would have taken the same approach that Mr Berry has taken and said that the public process really is necessary. The committee, by tabling a report in this fashion, has bypassed that public process. Clearly, Mr Berry's dissent is noted, but now it is up to the Assembly to deal with the variation.

As Mr Berry indicated in a response to comment from Mr Humphries, I think it is quite right to say that there is a difference between Mr Berry's comment on the process and his view on the variation. The view on the variation itself will be made now in the Assembly because this report does fulfil the statutory obligation for the committee to deal with the issue. When the variation is tabled, I presume that we will have a different debate on the merits of the issue itself.

Mr Humphries: I do not know whether we will. This is going to be a variation. He is not going to move a disallowance motion, so we will not have the debate.

MR MOORE: Unless, of course, as Mr Humphries indicates, there is no motion to disallow the variation. To a certain extent, it is the last opportunity for the public to have an input here. If there is no public outcry, if in fact it turns out that the judgment of Mr Rugendyke in this case was correct, and that there is no conflict or that this actually resolves the conflict, then neither Mr Berry, nor I, nor anybody else will move for disallowance and the matter will thus be resolved. So there is one final opportunity for

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