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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1052 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I am also happy for the committee to have considerable detail on the cost benefits of the extension of Gungahlin Drive and would expect them to call and ask for that material. They should have that, but it should be in the context of the draft variation to ensure the place of the Gungahlin Drive extension. The draft variation is intended simply to confirm and preserve the road alignment; it is not to build it yet. The need for it is still some time off, but, having done the work that the previous Minister, Mr Humphries, has done - - -

Mr Corbell: How long?

MR SMYTH: They are still saying 2005. But it is still appropriate to preserve that reserve so that, for instance, the Bruce precinct can have some certainty in its planning process; so that the AIS can know what they are going to be able to do and what they are not going to be able to do; so that Bruce Stadium, as well as the educational and commercial developments around that area, as well as a growing residential population, know that they will not have a parkway through the middle of their cities.

What Mr Corbell and Ms Tucker are saying is that we will continue to have the rat-running through Lyneham and O'Connor while we sit and ponder these matters. It is very important that we get on with the draft variation so as to give as many people as we can as much certainty as we can, and as early as we can.

Mr Speaker, the proposed variation to the Territory Plan will be submitted by me to the Standing Committee on Urban Services for consideration in the normal course of events. The Government believes that this process should be augmented by having the material made available to the previous committee now made available to the Standing Committee on Urban Services. I think this will afford the community an opportunity to examine the proposal and, should they wish, to examine all the material that was before the previous committee. I am sure the committee will also conduct public hearings. I would be extremely surprised if they did not. It is appropriate that we do this without the additional layer of process. We can do this in one step, in one inquiry. There is no need for two inquiries. For these reasons, we will not be supporting this motion.

MR KAINE (12.10): Mr Speaker, the Government's position and its reason for opposing this motion is a bit puzzling. It seems to be based on two propositions. One is: "We have done all the work and we do not need you to check it". The second is that somehow the committee looking into this matter is going to delay the provision of an access road to Gungahlin. I think most of us in this place would question both of those assumptions.

I do not know that the Government has necessarily done all the work or that it has necessarily come to the right conclusion. There are certainly a lot of people in the public out there around O'Connor who think it has come to the wrong conclusion. I do not see that there is any great problem in having a committee take the work that the Government has done and submit it to some further scrutiny. If we are going to accept the proposition that because the Government has done the work the answer is the right one and there is no need for scrutiny, I think we are going to be making a lot of policy mistakes in the future.

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