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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1976 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

raised, after the Government has gone a long way down the path towards having this happen, having had an independent study of this issue, having gone through an election campaign where it argued in favour of rural residential development, and having won that election. Having had endless debates on the floor of the Assembly, having had a motion on the floor of the Assembly in which the Assembly endorsed the concept of rural residential, having gone all the way down that path over two years, we now find we have to have a further inquiry by a committee of the Assembly which is not going to report for some time.

There is no reporting date in this motion so I do not know how long it is going to take to get the report done. Then, presumably, there will have to be a government response to the report. If we have anything to go by on the basis of previous committee reports, there will be some recommendation about further studies and further inquiries before we can go down the path of making this happen.

Mr Speaker, we went to the last election and said squarely to the people of the ACT that we were in favour of the development of certain selected parts of the ACT for rural residential occupation. That was our clear position. We were not opposed particularly strongly by any particular sector in that election. In fact, Mr Speaker, I can clearly recall a debate on the ABC in which a number of parties participated, including a representative of the Australian Labor Party. I cannot recall, looking back on that particular interview, whether it was Mr Hargreaves or Dr Garth who represented the ALP in that debate. It was one of those two. I forget who. When asked about rural residential, he said they thought it was a good idea and believed it should be endorsed.

Mr Corbell: Where is Dr Garth?

MR HUMPHRIES: Dr Garth was an endorsed Labor candidate.

Mr Corbell: Where is Dr Garth?

MR HUMPHRIES: He might have been sitting in your seat, Mr Corbell, if there had been more rotations on the ballot paper, according to some of the calculations.

Mr Corbell: No, it would be a better chance that I was here, actually, Gary. It would be a much better chance. I would have had less of a heart attack over the election campaign.

MR HUMPHRIES: The report by a certain academic at the ANU suggested to me that Dr Garth may have been - - -

Mr Corbell: I would have been here a lot earlier. I would have been here a lot earlier with more rotations, and you know it.

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not know about that, Mr Corbell. I would be watching Dr Garth, if I were you, come the next election. Mr Speaker, whoever the endorsed Labor candidate was, we assume he had some authority to speak for the ALP and he told the electors he thought rural residential was a good idea. We had a motion of the

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