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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 718 ..

MR QUINLAN: So, in fact, unless this material was of immense value, as you have tried to paint it - - -

Mr Humphries: Is there a preamble here, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes. Come on!

MR QUINLAN: Are you going to take any steps to recover any of that money from Mr Whitcombe? Let us take, for example, the $9,800 which the Chief Minister told the Assembly yesterday was the cost for the preliminary initial agreement. Is that of immense value in the future?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, it was obviously of immense value to have an agreement that had been put together by a very competent solicitor on the basis that it gave the ACT Government a way ahead with this whole approach. The information that we have - such things as geotechnical information, landscaping, all of those sorts of things - is, I believe, of real value to the ACT. That is the reason why we decided that the work should be finished, rather than stopping it when Mr Whitcombe pulled out. Mr Speaker, we have made it very - - -

Mr Corbell: No proposal, no development application.

Mr Quinlan: This is inconsistent.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister is answering Mr Quinlan's supplementary question.

MS CARNELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It would be nice if those opposite would keep their voices down just a little. The ACT Government does plan to go ahead with rural residential development. Therefore, all of this information - - -

Mr Corbell: At Hall?

MS CARNELL: At Hall, yes. We made it clear. We made it absolutely clear the whole time.

Mr Stanhope: So why are we having an inquiry?


MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, we believe that rural residential development in that area will be immensely beneficial in the future. One day those people opposite will realise that the PALM inquiry is not into whether rural residential development should go ahead, but how it should go ahead - not whether, but how. The information that will be gained will be available for use by the ACT Government as we go out to a selective tender for rural residential development in that area. It is information that would have had to be gained anyway. We will be able to use it. On that basis I have to say that I think it is money extremely well spent.

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