Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3173 ..
MR KAINE (continuing):
There is a thing called due process. The Labor Party and Ms Tucker are the first people to get up in this place and complain if they believe due process has not been followed. Now we have a case where they say, "Set aside due process. We are not interested in that. We want a new set of rules, and we will make them up here and now". That is not good enough.
If the Labor Party and the Greens wish to change the decision rules, Mr Speaker, then they must do so as a policy issue so it is clear that the change they wish to put in place will apply to all future cases; that we will not just act on whim and make up our minds on a day-by-day basis or a case-by-case basis as to which way we are going to go. The medium for that, I repeat, is by amending the law. If the Labor Party thinks that the rules ought to change, then let them bring an amendment forward that will change the law and make sure that we set the new rules for the future.
We have a process that has been followed in this case. There have been preliminary assessments. There have been assessments by Planning and Land Management. A report has been written. It has come to the Assembly. That report is now here for us to consider. There is nothing wrong with that process at all. It is the normal process. I think that the Labor Party is, at its risk, trying to circumvent that process. (Further extension of time granted)
Mr Speaker, to conclude, within the context of developments in our planning law since 1989 and the procedures and practices under that law that have been developed over several years, and clearly understood by all the players, I am of the opinion that the basis for Mr Corbell's motion for disallowance is not sufficiently substantial as to warrant my support, and I will not support it.
MR CORBELL (4.04), in reply: Mr Speaker, I think it has been a very constructive and effective debate today. That is only appropriate when you consider that the issue we are dealing with is one of some considerable significance and an issue which does need to be properly addressed in the chamber. I think it would be fair to say that it has been addressed effectively in the debate today.
I would like to start off by responding to a number of comments and other approaches that were put forward in the debate this morning and most recently this afternoon. I would like to start off with some comments that Mr Hird made in opening the debate for the Government. Mr Hird said that the Government had taken time to listen to all of the views on this issue. Yes, indeed, the Government did take the time to listen but then it summarily ignored all of them.
A consultation process is not just about listening. A consultation process is also about taking views into account. I think it would be fair to say that the Government has not taken into account any of the concerns from those people who have objected to this particular proposal. It is simply not good enough to state, "We listened and we had a consultation process" if you cannot demonstrate any goodwill as part of responding to the submissions put forward by people in response.