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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 752 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

either as insignificant or as having passed by and we do not need to think about it anymore. That is obviously in their best interests; but it does not mean that it is necessarily true.

Mr Speaker, it is up to this Assembly to scrutinise and watch the activities of the Executive, and it is an obligation we have as members of this place to speak up when we see legitimate reasons for concern. That is what this motion does today. There remain too many unanswered questions about the Hall/Kinlyside land affair to simply dismiss them. The Government's failure to openly and honestly answer these questions places an obligation upon other members in this place to consider their actions closely and voice their grave concerns that the Government's decision-making processes have become hostage to an "achieve at any cost" mentality.

Mr Speaker, the motion before the Assembly today highlights a series of key questions which the Government, in this place and in the wider public arena, has failed to address. They have not, on any one of these major concerns, provided clear answers which lay to rest those concerns. Mr Speaker, I will outline each of the concerns which the Opposition has in regard to these matters. They are matters of fact, and I will demonstrate why this Assembly must voice its grave concern over the Government's conduct of this issue.

Mr Speaker, the Hall/Kinlyside affair, as most members know, has its background in the decision of the Government to enter into an exclusive arrangement, a contract, at Cabinet level - the highest level of government - with an individual developer for the establishment of a rural residential estate in the areas known as Kinlyside and Hillview, near Hall. The fact that the developer approached the Government in relation to this matter is not unusual; nor was it improper. Indeed, the Opposition has no reason to be concerned about the actions of the developer in this issue. He was pursuing his legitimate business interests. What is of concern here, Mr Speaker, is the Government's handling of his approach and the subsequent decision-making processes. Little would be known of this affair if an interstate newspaper had not reported on it, relying apparently on a leaked Cabinet document. Clearly, Mr Speaker, it is in the public interest that we now have the opportunity to debate the issue that has surfaced.

Mr Speaker, I will outline the five key points which the Labor Opposition has raised in relation to these concerns and which the Government, clearly, has failed to address. The first, which is point (a) in my motion, is in relation to the Cabinet's preferred approach to land development in the Territory. We have on the public record details of the Cabinet submission in relation to this affair which indicate that "joint ventures were not the preferred business arrangement for government and that new joint ventures be the subject of a public tender process". Mr Speaker, this information is on the public record in a transcript of the evidence provided by the president of the Hall and District Progress Association at a public hearing of the Urban Services Committee on 8 May this year. It is a position, I must say, that was confirmed by Mr Neil Morgan, a senior officer of the Chief Minister's Department, at the same public briefing, in response to a question from me. I asked:

So, joint ventures are not a preferred model of the Government?

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