Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 771 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
Another issue of concern is that this is going ahead despite the fact that PALM - and I asked a question about this in question time - is supporting the development of a strategic plan by the people of Hall, the Hall and District Progress Association. It is quite separate from the other study that is going on. This is about giving the people of Hall the opportunity to develop a vision for Hall and the surrounding area. Obviously, at some time, the people in power thought this was a good thing to support. Taxpayers' money is going into supporting the development of this plan. The community involved in it have not been told, as far as I am concerned, that any strategic plan they develop must actually acknowledge as the bottom line that rural residential development will be happening in their area and the strategic plan has to fit around that proposal. Obviously, they do not know that. Obviously, they thought they actually had an opportunity to develop the plan and look at the issue of rural residential development within that work; but that has been denied them at this point, which is not acceptable.
Another concern for me is how this fits into our overall strategic and social plan. I note in all the documents that have come out from the Government on this that there is always the commitment to community consultation, ecological sustainability and so on; yet, once again, we do not really have that strategic plan. None of this process indicates a real commitment to ESD or community participation. It just flies in the face of the rhetoric of the plan and is without the context of such a plan, because we still do not have one.
All in all, it has been a sorry saga. I am really hoping that we will not get support tonight from members for Mr Humphries's amendment, because that would make it even more difficult for us to try to remedy the situation and have reasonable process in deciding this very important community issue. It is unsatisfactory and unacceptable that such an agreement was entered into with one person before any of this had happened. That is another issue in itself. Why was one person allowed to have this right? Why was it not opened up to all the creative and thinking people in the ACT who would like to have a go at proposing different ideas, if there is to be such development, after the processes have been completed? We might have ended up with something quite different. As it is, we have ended up with nothing and a political mess. I really would like to see the Government acknowledge that there have been some mistakes made here and set about handling this thing properly by respecting the community and due process.
MR BERRY (5.40): My colleagues have spoken quite adequately in relation to the motion moved by Mr Corbell, but I want to say a little about the amendment moved by Mr Humphries. Mr Humphries seeks, in effect, to strike out the motion of Mr Corbell in relation to the matter and, with some self-gratification for the Government, have this Assembly endorse the Cabinet decision of 22 December 1997.
Ms Carnell: No; note it.
MR BERRY: Note the Cabinet decision of 22 December 1997 and, in effect, accept that that was the right thing to do, note that the preliminary agreement referred in the Cabinet decision will not proceed, and support the Government's commitment to establish rural residential development in the ACT. I say no to that. The reason I say that is that there has been a totally inadequate assessment of the effect of rural residential development on