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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 769 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have circulated an amendment to this motion, which I now move:

Omit all words after "this Assembly", substitute the following words:

"(1) notes the Cabinet decision of 22 December 1997 concerning a proposal for rural-residential development at Hall/Kinlyside;

(2) notes the preliminary agreement referred to in the Cabinet decision will not proceed; and

(3) supports the Government's commitment to establish rural-residential development in the ACT.".

The amendment reflects the reality, rather than the myths which the Labor Party has perpetrated in its motion. It reflects the fact that a decision was made and that decision led to a preliminary agreement. The amendment notes the Cabinet decision, notes that the preliminary agreement is not proceeding, which has been obvious to everybody except those opposite, and supports the Government's commitment to establish rural residential development in the ACT.

MS TUCKER (5.31): I will speak to the motion as well as to the amendment. The motion is, basically, one which I support. I have been very concerned about the processes as they have occurred. I will not go into detail about whether the Government had knowledge of the leases, who had the leases, and so on, because, obviously, that has been dealt with already by other members. I must say that I do find it difficult to understand exactly what has gone on there, although it appears from Mr Humphries's letter that the Government was aware of the situation; but, as that is unclear to me, I will not go into it in detail. But what is clear to me from what I have heard said again and again in the last week is that Mrs Carnell is very keen on rural residential development. It is obvious from Mr Humphries's amendment that the Government is seeking the support of other members of the Assembly to pursue that policy. I am concerned about this approach because the Government has not had regard to due process, in my view, and there are a couple of things that are very concerning about it.

First of all, before such an enthusiastic statement was made about rural residential development, I would like to have seen evidence that there had been a real understanding of the environmental impact of that sort of development. We keep being told that there will be environmental impact assessments later and there will be the normal planning processes, but that we want rural residential development anyway. It is back to front, as usual. Unless we actually understand the environmental implications first, amongst other implications, we do not have the substance or the argument for saying, "We want rural residential development". I know that that area has some red gum and yellow box species that are an endangered part of the ecosystem of the ACT. I would like to have heard a lot more acknowledgment of that in the debate and reassurances from the

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