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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 176 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

people with the expertise in this matter, have come up with a way to strength even further variation 114 to ensure that not just Canberrans but all Australians get to enjoy long term the heritage values of Old Red Hill.

MR HARGREAVES (8:10): Mr Speaker, this motion continues the endeavours of Mr Corbell to retain the heritage areas of the Red Hill precinct against quite considerable odds. It is clear to me from looking back at the motion that the minister likes to split the motion into the review component and providing for more than one dwelling. There is a third aspect, that is, interpretation of the wish of the Assembly. It is the minister's job to interpret that wish and put it into practice.

The minister used the term "experts at 30 paces". Firstly, it is a bit frivolous to say that and, secondly, it is not really so that that is the case. Mr Speaker, it is clearly a contest between the will of the Assembly and the strength of the minister in terms of who is running the show, he or the department, and in this instance the will of the Assembly should prevail. In my view the previous motion was explicit.

The minister emphasised the word "review" and glossed over the words "to provide for". The minister used a definition out of a dictionary of his own choosing to talk about a review being something with a possibility of an outcome, whose object is the possibility of an outcome. I refer the minister to the New Oxford Dictionary definition, which says that it is a formal assessment or examination of something with a possibility-I emphasis the next bit for the minister's edification, because I know that he is not tertiary qualified-or intention of instituting change.

If you replace the word "review" in the motion with that definition, you have "with the intention of instituting change to provide for no more than one dwelling on any block". That is crystal clear to me. I will repeat it: to allow the formal assessment or examination of something with the intention of providing for no more than one dwelling. It was clearly the wish of the Assembly that dual occupancy not be allowed in that precinct. The minister has a duty as the minister for heritage to uphold the Assembly's wish and to protect the areas so described.

Mr Speaker, there has to be a balance between urban redevelopment or internal expansion within a suburb and the protection of those heritage areas. It is the minister's responsibility and duty to juggle them. It is also the Assembly's duty to provide guidance to the minister. If he does not accept the guidance of the Assembly, it is up to the Assembly to direct him.

Mr Speaker, I may be corrected, but I thought I heard the minister say that he would be happy to go along with it if the Assembly recommended it: in a sense, if we replaced the word "direct" in the motion with "recommend".

Ordinarily, I would say that that would be fair enough, but not this time because it was clearly the Assembly's wish that something occur last time but the minister did not comply with that wish, so we are now forced at this time as the Assembly to direct him to do that.

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