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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1971 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

When Mr Stanhope tried to do mea culpa for the disastrous result of the Labor Party at the last election, we heard him say that they were not just going to be the party of opposition; they were going to - - -

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order. I usually do not interrupt the Minister when he is replying to these sorts of motions, but I take a point of order on the ground of relevance. It would be nice if Mr Smyth addressed the terms of the motion rather than make this standard political attack that he always makes every time he has not got anything substantive to say.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, but I am sure the Minister will watch it.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, you know that you have stung them when we get spurious points of order from Mr Corbell that it is not relevant. Let us look at the process then. Let us look at the process right from the start that comes to the conclusion of rural residential. Mr Humphries is the former Minister responsible for this area. He set in train the Rural Policy Task Force and the task force came up with some recommendations, some of which were accepted by the Government and some of which were rejected. On policy grounds we have said we believe that rural residential should go ahead in the ACT. I think it was in December 1997 that Mr Humphries made that announcement and we still stand by it. We took it to the election. We took to the election as our policy that we believed the people of Canberra should have some choice.

It is choice that the Labor Party are against. What they do not want to see is us taking initiatives and doing things that the people of Canberra approve of. They will stand in the way. We know they do not have a policy. How do we know that they do not have a policy? Mr Corbell told his Labor Party Conference that they will have a planning policy within the next year. I think it was Graham Cooke who did an article some months ago when Mr Corbell assumed the mantle of planning. Mr Corbell said, "We will have a policy on planning by 2001". They stand for nothing. All they do is stand in the way of the Government offering choice and delivering options to the people of Canberra.

Mr Corbell: Why do you not address the substantive issue? Address the substantive issue.

MR SMYTH: Mr Corbell says, "Address the substantive motion". This is amazing. He knows what we are in favour of and he knows what we stand for, Mr Speaker. He knows that we want to present the people of Canberra with wider choices and options. What we have sitting opposite, Mr Speaker, is the most conservative party in this Assembly, the ALP Labor conservatives. They are afraid of something new. They are afraid of something innovative. Maybe they would like us to go ahead and repeat their planning mistakes. I bring Harcourt Hill to the attention of this place. Let us talk about Harcourt Hill and the way they did not understand what they were doing.

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Relevance, Mr Speaker. The Minister has been on his feet for five minutes now and he said "rural residential" once. I would really like him to address the substantive issues which are outlined in the motion rather than trawl through all these tired old excuses about why he cannot answer the fundamental questions about rural residential development in the Territory.

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