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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2810 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

ramifications of the decision that you have made and put on me. Mr Stanhope, I know you love to play political games. You are interested in short-term political gain every single time. That is what it is - just the short-term political gain. Nothing else matters.

Mr Osborne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I refer the Minister to standing order 118(b), "shall not debate the subject to which the question refers".

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. I uphold the point of order.

MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question. Mr Moore today presents a remarkable new view on planning processes which are substantially private and semi-public at best. My supplementary question touches on comments he made. Does the Minister not accept the view of the LAPACs and others that the Commonwealth Government would not forcibly evict the existing hospice from Acton Peninsula if good progress was being made to find and develop the best available site? Is that not the general expectation? If you could show that you were doing something, they would not turn you out at a moment's notice.

MR MOORE: I think that is true within the first year of the agreement, and even for the next six months. Remember the agreement says, "You can stay for a year and if you are well under way with processes then you can stay another six months". What happens beyond that six months? The Chief Minister indicates to me it is not quite as simple as Mr Stanhope thinks. There will be issues such as insurance that may well be put in jeopardy if the hospice remains on Acton Peninsula, squatting.

However, I should share with members that in the discussions I had with the chief executive of the National Capital Authority I said, "If we have the thing almost built and we are just doing the last part of the fitout and it is 31 December, are you going to force us out?". Her response to me was that there was an agreement between the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister and that, although she cannot give advice that goes contrary to that, she would believe that both the Federal Government and the National Capital Authority would be receptive to a few weeks either way. I have been exploring each of those issues, Mr Wood. I am genuinely - - -

Mr Wood: Even if you had started work, that would happen, would it not?

MR MOORE: Not necessarily, because the National Capital Authority and the Government are very keen to have the hospice out of that site by the time the National Museum opens early in the following year, predicted to be March. They want to make sure that it is completely out of there. That is why I think it is a very strong possibility that a ward at the Canberra Hospital will be necessary if we can find a site, or even if we go through the process of trying to find a site.

I would like to emphasise to members that I have taken your views seriously. I take the view of the people who met at Griffith seriously, and I am doing my best to deliver the best possible site in Canberra. But do understand the ramifications of the decision that you made.

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