Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 1977 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Assembly endorsing rural residential. Now, more than two years after this process has begun, we are finding out that we need basically to go back to first principles on rural residential.

Mr Speaker, I want to put on the record that certain elements within the Government's bureaucracy have certainly not favoured rural residential. I have made that clear in the past in this place. The fundamental principle at work here, Mr Speaker, is that the Government decides what the policy is and the Government puts this policy through the Legislative Assembly. It has done both of those things in respect of this matter. First, it has decided its policy; second, it has gone through an election with that policy; third, it has had endorsement from the Legislative Assembly. Mr Speaker, I think that is a good basis from which to proceed to implement rural residential.

However, we are now told that we have to have a further delay on the matter. Okay, we will have to wear where the numbers lie, but I would say to members again: What does the Government have to do to be able to implement the decisions that it makes and for which it gets endorsement from appropriate quarters? I am not sure, to be quite frank.

Mr Rugendyke: Go through the minority government process.

MR HUMPHRIES: To answer Mr Rugendyke's interjection, the minority Government sought the views of the Assembly and got the endorsement of the Assembly for this process. Apparently the Assembly has changed its mind about the matter. I simply say to the Assembly that there is a lot of money tied up with the process of developing these ideas. It is an expensive process. It consumes a large amount of bureaucratic time and effort, and the momentum for that will be lost with this process, but such is life.

Mr Speaker, I also want, for the record, just one more time, to put the lie to this suggestion that the work done by the Research Planning Design Group was not independent and was not properly conducted. The consultant who conducted that, Mr Budge, has written to the Government, making it extremely clear. I quote:

At no stage was I directed to take a particular line on any matter or the topic as a whole ... the final report, as delivered to you, represents the consultant team's work under my leadership and I am happy to have our name on the report.

Mr Speaker, of course that report was conducted in the framework of the Government's policy. It was never conducted as an inquiry or a study which was to ask the question, "Should there be rural residential?". It was clearly the case from the beginning that the Government had a policy on that matter and the Government's instruction to its public servants was: "We have a policy. We want you to conduct a study into the best way of implementing our stated policy". If members opposite want to twist facts and characterise that work as: "Oh, you commissioned a study on whether we should have rural residential", well, that is their business, but they should not peddle the lie out in the community that this was ever intended to be a first principles kind of study. It was not intended to be that. It was intended by the Government to be an inquiry into how we implement the Government's stated policy.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .