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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 614 ..



and that the members of this Assembly provide their comments once that community comment has come in. That is not an unusual process. So, for the Minister to stand up in the Assembly and say, "You did not comment; therefore it is not inadequate", is absurd and naive and an approach which I hope no other member of this place would accept.

This report is inadequate. The Government should start again and produce a report with real independence and real integrity rather than the doctored and massaged report we have before us today.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (4.06): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will be quite brief in this debate. Frankly, I have to agree with my colleague Mr Smyth that it is hard to see how the inadequacies contained in a document, which is what Ms Tucker raised in her MPI - the inadequacies, so-called, of a particular document put out by the Government with input from a consultant - somehow constitutes a matter of public importance that should detain the Legislative Assembly of the ACT for an hour's worth of debate. Perhaps I am underestimating the importance that we should attach to this matter, but I have a feeling that it really does not deserve that kind of focus.

I think Ms Tucker and probably Mr Corbell and others would like to use a debate like this to come back and disguise what they really want, which is for us somehow not to proceed with the advent of rural residential development in the ACT. We have been as honest and up front about this issue as it is possible to be. We went to the last election saying, "We want to have rural residential development in the ACT". We put that to the electorate. The electorate supported us on that basis - interestingly, even communities which would be quite severely affected by this particular proposal. For example, it has often been suggested that the people of Hall would be particularly badly affected by the concept of rural residential development in and around that village. The fact is that that development was proposed, it was talked about, before that election, and the Liberal Party won more votes in the Hall Village polling booth - - -

Mr Berry: Because you kept it a secret.

Mr Corbell: It was an exclusive grant.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I can hardly hear myself think.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): Order! The Minister has the call. I heard Mr Berry interject and interjections are not allowed. It is unusual for Mr Berry to interject, I know. You would be surprised.

MR HUMPHRIES: I would be surprised, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. I would have thought that if there were any place in the Territory where you could take a barometer on the view about rural residential development, Hall was the place. Hall, like just about every other booth in the Territory, swung to the Liberal Party. (Quorum formed) I have forgotten where I was, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. Yes, we were reflecting on the inadequacies, so-called, of the discussion paper. Mr Corbell saw fit to raise the question of the independence of the discussion paper. I simply want to make an observation about the processes that are followed here.

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