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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (10 March) . . Page.. 500 ..


: All right. Basically, I guess what I have been trying to make quite clear is that there has been a suspicion for some time that this report is not independent. We are hearing the Government say that they are not actually concerned about whether it is independent or not. It was about representing their position. I find that absolutely totally unacceptable, because not only has it misled members of this Assembly, but it has misled people in the community who, in good faith, have made submissions in relation to this discussion paper. I think we need to get a very clear message through to this Government now that this particular mentality is not acceptable to members of this Assembly or to the community.

We see it across a number of areas, whether it is about contradictions in how conflict of interest is used or about the imperilling of the committee system by this Government because its agenda is threatened. It is an "anything goes" approach, which is actually not to do with good process or integrity. For that reason I will support this censure motion.

MR OSBORNE (12.31): I seek leave to move the amendment circulated in my name, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.


Omit all words after "Assembly", substitute "expresses its grave concern at the use of the word 'independent' by the Minister for Urban Services in relation to the Rural Residential Development paper.".

MR CORBELL (12.31), in reply: Mr Speaker, what we have presented in this debate today is a straightforward proposition. I will reiterate it for the benefit of members who are still undecided. What we have said today is this: The Minister, on 29 October last year, said:

... today I am releasing for community consultation an independent discussion paper on rural residential development in the ACT.

He did not say "a discussion paper prepared by independent consultants" but "an independent discussion paper". Mr Speaker, the Minister also said:

The discussion paper was prepared as part of an independent study ...

Therefore, this was an independent part of an independent study. That was clear and unequivocal, Mr Speaker.

Now I want to address the comments made by Mr Smyth and by Mr Humphries in their assertion that the Minister has apologised for the inadvertent use of "independent", to use Mr Humphries' and Mr Smyth's words. Mr Smyth has said, "I apologise for using the word 'independent' discussion paper on 29 October last year". He has said, "I apologise for that. That was wrong of me. I will clear up any misunderstanding". Mr Speaker, the Minister knew over a month ago that I had requested papers about the preparation of this

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