Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1970 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
If the Government wants to go about changing that very long-held planning policy approach, I would like to see a bit of justification before they embark down that path. We have not seen it to date. So, Mr Speaker, that is another reason why this inquiry is desperately needed.
To sum up, further development of proposals for rural residential development have not been adequately justified by this Government. We have not seen, in respect of any of the points I have raised, a sufficient justification of these very important issues that relate to the use of land which is finite. Before we can go down that path, particularly in light of this Government's record on policy development in relation to rural residential development, we must have an inquiry. That is why my final point, Mr Speaker, directs the Government not to proceed further with any development of proposals for rural residential development in the Territory until this proposed committee inquiry has reported and the Government has presented its response. This is a sensible response to a very important issue, and I commend the motion to members.
MR SPEAKER: Before we continue with the debate, I would like to recognise the presence in the gallery of Mr Ralph Clarke, the member for Ross Smith in the South Australian Parliament. Welcome.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.25): Mr Speaker, it is clear why Mr Corbell wants to refer this matter to the committee. He is simply against it. The ALP has always been against it. Unlike the Labor Party, Mr Speaker, the Government was up front at the last election when we went to the electorate. We went to the voters of Hall - somebody should look at the results from the Hall booth - and we said in our election policy that we believe that rural residential was something that should go ahead in the ACT.
I know it annoys the Labor Party and it annoys Mr Corbell, but they lost the election. They got an all-time low vote for the Labor Party. They were rejected by the electors. If you check the booth where this has maximum impact you will find that they voted strongly with the Liberal Party.
Mr Moore: Negative, negative, negative.
MR SMYTH: They are just negative. This is the party that now stands for nothing but opposition. They just oppose everything. That is all we ever hear - opposition for opposition's sake. Mr Speaker, rural residential offers people a wider range of choice than now exists. We know that people want this choice because large numbers of ACT residents now leave the ACT to live in New South Wales because they want to live in a different style of accommodation.
Mr Speaker, because we are in touch with the community, because we talk to the community and we understand what the community wants, we took this to the election. We were up front about this at the last election and said that we believe that the people of the ACT wanted rural residential as a choice here in the ACT. And guess what, Mr Speaker? We are in government and Labor are not. They are not in government because they stand for nothing, Mr Speaker. They do not stand for anything. They are against choice. They are against any initiative of this Government at all.