Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3169 ..
MR OSBORNE : Mr Speaker, I too seek leave to table some documents which hopefully will assist you in your determination on this matter. One is a front-page story from the Canberra Times about certain members of the judiciary criticising the children's services legislation. There is also a three-page press release from the Chief Magistrate criticising the legislation. I hope they assist.
MR KAINE (3.47): Mr Speaker, we are engaged in an interesting debate. Some people present might think this is the first time that such matters have ever been debated in this place. That of course is far from the truth. One of the issues that have been on the top of the agenda of this place for 10 years now has been planning. Some of us had thought that, with the tabling of new legislation and a new Territory Plan earlier this decade, we had solved the problem. That has proved not to be the case.
Since then there have been constant changes, all of them endorsed by this Assembly, to the law, to the plan and to the processes which are used under the plan to achieve outcomes. Every time we debate the plan, we hope we have solved the problem. Unfortunately, as you know, Mr Speaker, the problem, in the public mind, is no closer to solution today than it was 10 years ago. The problem always focuses on the question of consultation. Every major development project that has taken place in this city in the last 10 years has been challenged, which people are entitled to do if they have a different view. This is not the first and it will not be the last.
It comes down to what we mean when we say there is a consultative process. What does the Government mean? What does the Opposition mean? What does the community think it means? At the end of the day, no matter what steps the Government and the administration take, there is always a group of people who feel that their voice has not been heard. They have been consulted. We have gone through the consultative process. They have had an opportunity to express their view. But the fact that the Government and the administration, indeed the Assembly, have not picked up that view results in a feeling, I think unjustified, that their view has not been heard. It has been heard, and it has been carefully weighed and considered, but in the whole scheme of things it has been adjudged as not being the prevailing view. I would take issue with any proposition that the Government, the Assembly or the administration failed to listen during the consultative process. I do not think that is true, and I think it is unfair to say it.