Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1462 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
last few hours; there are a few self-appointed experts in this area - that Justice Higgins has dealt with that issue, and I would simply refer people to his statements that quite emphatically indicate that the terms of the lease are not inconsistent with the plan nor was it granted otherwise than lawfully.
It seems that in one case one of those self-appointed experts has had as much success today as she had on 21 February. Mr Speaker, it probably cost her more money on 21 February than it would have today, but either way I think we need to await the final resolution of that matter in the court before we jump to any conclusions about what it means.
MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question. Talking of money, could you inform us what the cost to the ACT Government has been in defending this court case, in both the legal expenses involved and the time taken by PALM officials?
MR HUMPHRIES: I obviously could not off the top of my head, Mr Speaker. The matter is still not concluded, so I could not give you any figure on a final outcome. I will refer the matter to Mr Smyth, and any information that comes will come via him.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety. On 9 January this year the Minister, who was then the Minister for Planning, wrote to Mr Phil McBride, director of Hughes Trueman Reinhold, consulting engineers and planners acting for Woden Contractors, concerning an application by that company to develop a rural residential estate at Kinlyside near Hall. In that letter, obtained under a freedom of information request, you set out reasons for the Government refusing the application. Can the Minister tell the Assembly why it took nearly two years to deal with the issue?
Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I would draw your attention to standing order 117(e)(i). Questions shall not refer to debates that have taken place during that calendar year.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, there has never been a debate about Mr Phil McBride, director of Hughes Trueman and Reinhold, consulting engineers, or any other company related to them. This is a question specifically in relation to that company. It has nothing to do with the debate.
MR SPEAKER: I will allow the question, but I do draw the Minister's attention to standing order 117(e)(i) in relation to any debates. I am not sure just how the question can be answered, if it can be answered at all. I will have to leave it to your discretion, Mr Humphries.