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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1463 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have my doubts about that as well. My recollection is that the Cabinet decision of the beginning of this year approximately or late last year, whenever it was - late December, I think - indicated that I should write to a number of other parties who, at various stages, had expressed an interest in rural residential development around Hall to indicate to them information about the Government's decision-making process. Beyond that, Mr Speaker, I cannot give information on that matter. I am no longer the Minister responsible for that area, but I take on notice any other issues in the question of Mr Corbell which are not answered.

MR CORBELL: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. The question was: Why did it take two years to refuse the application? Perhaps the Minister can take that on notice if he cannot answer it now. I draw the Minister's attention to a paragraph he wrote which reads:

I can assure you that, if such development proceeds -

that is, rural residential -

the Government is keen to see the highest quality outcome and that the processes put in place in assessing the various proposals will be open and designed to achieve that end.

Can the Minister say why he did not inform Mr McBride that the Government had already agreed to enter an exclusive preliminary agreement with Mr Whitcombe for a similar development on a neighbouring site?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, you have ruled that the first question did not breach standing order 117(e)(i), but the supplementary question certainly does. It refers to an earlier debate about this matter and it does breach that standing order.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I would like to respond to that point of order.

MR SPEAKER: You cannot respond to the point of order. You can certainly take another point of order if you wish.

Mr Berry: I would like you to consider, Mr Speaker, that the matter which has been raised by my colleague Mr Corbell is in relation to a proposal from Mr McBride. The question he asked was: Why was Mr McBride not told that there was another arrangement in place with Mr Whitcombe? Surely that is a legitimate question.

MR SPEAKER: I am not aware whether this was raised by Mr McBride or not.

Mr Corbell: Further to the point of order, Mr Speaker: If you are going to rule that these questions are out of order, does that mean we cannot discuss rural residential in this place at all ever again? It would be an absurd ruling. If you listened to my supplementary question, it quite simply dealt with the issue of Mr McBride's approach to the Government and the Government's response to Mr McBride. Mr McBride's name has not been raised in this place ever before. The question is entirely in order, I put it to you.

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