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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1700 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Urban Services noted on the file that he did not think at this stage that it was appropriate that the Legislative Assembly be advised of the proposed development. I think that sort of attitude highlights some of the concerns we have in relation to the aggregation of responsibility for land and land development in the hands of the Office of Asset Management. There is a real danger in that.

There is a real danger that our planning is being short-circuited or circumvented and that we are getting second-best results. It is not just in respect of Hall/Kinlyside; it is in respect of some of the attitudes to some of the major developments in Civic, such as section 56; some of the concerns about Manuka; the problems with the Yarralumla Brickworks; and the decisions in relation to the Phillip Testing Station. These are all major Territory assets. These sites are of enormous value to the Territory, not only in terms of the inherent value of the land. For instance, in relation to the Yarralumla Brickworks, there is the enormous heritage significance of that site.

It is of real concern that responsibility for the management of these assets is being separated from the planning function. It is being put into the hands of the can-do merchants.

Ms Carnell: Yes.

MR STANHOPE: There is a set of overriding responsibilities and principles that should apply to the use of our land. We must be very careful not to separate from the planners those responsible for the details of land planning. Let us be very careful that we not separate from the professional planners a responsibility for some ownership of the way in which we continue to develop this city. There are really important issues at stake here in terms of the city of Canberra, the place that we call home. These are very important issues in terms of the vision that we have for this place.

So I repeat the concerns expressed by Mr Corbell. There are very serious issues at stake here. I am not sure that the Government, in terms of the already completed transfer of functions to the Office of Asset Management and the castration to some extent of PALM, has acted in the best interests of land management in the ACT.

MR CORBELL (9.10): I am surprised, Mr Speaker, that the Minister for Urban Services is not getting up to defend the ability of PALM and to state how satisfactory the transfer has been from PALM to the Office of Asset Management. Perhaps he does not feel that, Mr Speaker. Perhaps he is unwilling to defend that decision.

Mr Speaker, I rose to respond to the Chief Minister's interjection in response to Mr Stanhope - - -

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, it is out of order to respond to an interjection.

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