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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1096 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

There is no great rush. There is no reason to prevent the Urban Services Committee conducting this inquiry with these terms of reference. In fact, there is every good reason to allow this place to consult with the people of Canberra on these terms of reference on this very important issue. To oppose this is just an act of political nonsense.

MR MOORE: (Minister for Health and Community Care): I seek leave to speak again on this matter, for a short time.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and thank you members for your indulgence. When I spoke the first time it was prior to Mr Humphries and Mr Smyth speaking. I think it is very important, as far as I am concerned, to emphasise that this does not have to delay the process at all; that the variation to the Territory Plan that they are proposing to put up and that should be the whole consultative process can be achieved by ensuring that they take into account what the members of the Urban Services Standing Committee report on. They can draw the variation accordingly. That will ensure that we have a very broad process instead of what happens in terms of a draft variation to the Territory Plan.

I have some experience of this as chair of the previous committee which dealt with planning and environment issues. When a draft variation comes before the committee, although you try to see the variation in the broad context, it is often quite difficult to do that. This motion and the amendment that we have before us provide the opportunity to get a broad view of this issue.

Mr Stanhope was right when he said that this is not a new issue and that it has been looked at before. In fact, I was involved in the GET study, the Gungahlin external transport study in 1986, which was substantially before self-government. I remember very clearly that one of the issues I put on behalf of the Reid Residents Association and the City Residents Coalition when we were working with that study was that the single most important issue that we had to deal with in terms of Gungahlin and external transport issues was employment in Gungahlin. That was the most important thing, and I think that was broadly recognised. The outcomes of the GET study showed that it was important.

I think it is something that we have not done well in the development of Gungahlin. There are a tremendous number of pressures for development elsewhere, particularly within the Parliamentary Triangle. Certainly, Federal departments still seek to locate within the Parliamentary Triangle. There is a status, a pecking order. Who is closest to Parliament House is the one who has the highest standing. I think that is very disappointing indeed because the Federal departments do not need to be near Parliament House at all. They would do well to be located in Gungahlin or Tuggeranong or Belconnen. Some of them are, but not enough. I think it is a failure of our plan and the National Capital Plan that we have allowed departments to move there. That is what helps create these problems. Even if we do manage to get Federal departments into a place like Gungahlin, there will still be transport issues, just as there are from Belconnen in to Civic and Woden, back and forward, and also as far as Tuggeranong is concerned.

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