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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 774 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

I wish to discuss two issues briefly, Mr Speaker. I have sat and listened to the discussion, as I have indicated to the Labor Party, and the one issue that they are trying to pin the Government on, I think, is whether the Government actually knew that there was only one lease and not three. A number of documents have been tabled. One is a letter from the Minister to Mr Kearney, which I have seen, and there were some notes from Mr Kearney. I have to say, Mr Speaker, that I have not been convinced on that. The second one, Mr Speaker, is that, quite clearly, there are no guidelines in place for dealing with issues like this. I think that is why we have got to the stage we have. We have not been able to pin the Government down on anything because there have been no rules that they have been required to follow. That is why I have moved an amendment, Mr Speaker.

On the issue of rural residential development, I think it is a good idea. I am quite happy to support the amendment moved by Mr Humphries because I think it is something that could be of great benefit to the Assembly. There is a long way to go before we actually have a proposal, given that this one has fallen over; but I wanted to lay my cards on the table on the issue of rural residential development. I would love to have it down in the Tuggeranong area.

MR BERRY (5.52): Mr Speaker, I wish to speak to Mr Osborne's amendment. The picture of rural residential development is nice: Animals racing around paddocks, trimmed lawns and lovely houses with a nice stand of gum trees, nice little entry gates, a couple of nice horses, a few cows, a couple of sheep and so on in small sections, with a much increased population density. It is a very nice picture, as one can imagine. But you have to look a bit further ahead than the end of your nose. The Territory's wealth is its land and glibly to agree to rural residential development because you think in your own mind that it presents a nice picture is to abandon your responsibility to the community. It is an abandonment of your responsibility to the community.

Ms Carnell: No-one has suggested where it will be; just that we think it is a good idea, and it is.

MR BERRY: Perhaps the Chief Minister could just be quiet. This is turning out to be the most expensive bit of hitchhiking in the Territory's history and the taxpayer will have to pay for it. Mr Speaker, what this means is that we will end up with residential leases of large blocks of land which, probably, will never be available for any purpose in the foreseeable future because they will be locked away in rural residential arrangements. If you make that decision now, the flexibility to deal with land management in the future is diminished overwhelmingly, to the point where you really will not be able to move. Rural residential development will lock up massive amounts of land.

Ms Carnell: It would lock up only as much land as we agree to.

MR BERRY: Already you have tried to agree to massive amounts of land being locked up for rural residential development. It would inhibit the Territory's ability to manage its land properly, on the face of it. I would like to see some sort of inquiry into the full effects of this development, with some experts being involved in it - not some people who think it just looks like a nice picture. I would like to know the full economic effects of this development on the Territory - not just on the political future of Kate Carnell

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