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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3118 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

In considering this issue, Mr Speaker, the Assembly will need to address the fundamental notions of maintaining the community's faith in the planning process. This proposal has been resurrected on three separate occasions. Each time there has been considerable and well-organised community opposition on well-based and principled grounds. The ability of the Government to blatantly disregard its own commitment to reject the proposal prior to the last election has led the community to seriously question the credibility of the process.

There is a significant responsibility on this Assembly and the ACT Government to protect the integrity of the Territory Plan and the administration of the leasehold system. This proposal threatens that integrity. This proposal undermines proper administration of the leasehold system. Ironically, instead of the Government and this Assembly to date ensuring that this responsibility is upheld, much of the work has instead been done by those concerned citizens who wrote to, and appeared before, the committee's inquiry because they believed it was important to maintain and protect those aspects of Canberra which make it unique. The failure of the planning administration and the majority of the Urban Services Committee and the ACT Government to act on their behalf only underscores why people in Canberra no longer have faith in our planning processes.

I urge the Assembly today to recognise the important role it must play in working to restore that faith and to recognise the legitimate and widespread community opposition to this proposal. I urge members to vote to uphold the principles of transparent and proper leasehold administration and to vote to maintain the integrity and the principles of the Territory Plan and Canberra's unique open space system. I urge members to support this disallowance motion today.

MR HIRD (11.05): Mr Speaker, when I tabled the report of the Standing Committee on Urban Services on the Federal Golf Club residential development proposal, I made two introductory remarks. First, I recognised that Mr Corbell had dissented from the majority report and had included a separate dissenting report. Secondly, I commented on the length and extent of the consultation process that had preceded the deliberations on the final preparation of the report. I emphasise these comments again, Mr Speaker, to demonstrate that the committee took every opportunity to take advantage of all available information before reaching its final position. Despite this, the complexity of the issues is demonstrated by the fact that a unanimous position could not be reached.

In considering why this position has arisen, I have again read both the majority and the dissenting reports as well as all the information contained in the annexure attached to the reports. I am led to the conclusion, Mr Speaker, that maybe committee members approached the task on this occasion from different angles. The majority report has adhered specifically to the substance of the reference - that is, whether or not the draft variation to the Territory Plan in relation to the Federal Golf Club should be endorsed. The dissenting report, however, seems to go beyond the specific reference and to advocate that the committee's role was to consider the entire ACT planning system. Indeed, the introduction to the dissenting report states, in part:

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