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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1098 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

I have made it quite clear since I promoted this issue that we expected this to go ahead in 2005. It depends, of course, on the population levels in Gungahlin and their needs, so it may come a little earlier or it may come a little later. The interesting thing is that those opposite would see something wrong. They keep saying that the date has changed. When Mr Humphries started the process it probably was closer to 10 years, but that is three or four years ago now. So, take three or four years off that and that brings you back to the six years that will take us to 2005.

Mr Moore raised the point about employment in Gungahlin. I think Tuggeranong is a perfect example. The expectation was that more government departments would go to Tuggeranong and that there would be higher employment down there than there is. I guess they just ran out of departments to transfer to Canberra. The departments have now certainly relocated to Barton. That is true as well.

In regard to employment in Gungahlin, this Government, when it was planning the town centre, insisted that there be office space on the second floors of the buildings in the town centre, and we will continue to make appropriate allowance for employment in Gungahlin. It suits our purpose to have employment in Gungahlin. It suits the people of Gungahlin to have employment there. They live there. Ideally, they would want to work there, I suspect. So, look; we are aware of all these things. I see this as simply another log, another hurdle, put in front of the future development of Gungahlin.

If the committee does its inquiries into the draft variation properly it will canvass these issues. I have written to the committee saying it should canvass these issues, and it should take on board the work done by the previous inquiry. There is no need to do this twice. It is process for process sake. I think it is stalling. I think those who do not want it to go ahead are attempting to thwart the process in this manner. I think it is more than appropriate that we do it through the draft variation.

Mr Corbell and others said that it was because of some sort of greedy land claim - sell land, make money. The people who have raised issues about Bruce are the people who live and work in Bruce. The AIS would like some certainty so that it can develop future options that it has on the board. They want to develop a sports medicine precinct but are uncertain as to whether or not they should do it simply because they are not sure whether or not a parkway will come through the middle of the precinct. Indeed, all the planning for the Bruce precinct needs some certainty so that people can get on with their lives. I do not see that as a greedy land grab. Those opposite think that the residents and the workers of Bruce are insensitive because they would like not to have the parkway through the middle of the precinct. Trying to portray that as the Government being greedy for dollars is somewhat stupid.

We would like to see areas like Bruce go ahead. I think all here would like to see areas like Bruce go ahead appropriately so that as a city we develop employment options and we broaden our employment base; so that we can offer people jobs, long-term jobs, so that they can have that security and the income that comes with it. That is neither greedy nor stupid.

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