Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . . Page.. 42 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
thought it was a lovely story. He did try to indicate that, but I think he has fallen flat on his face on it. The facts are quite different from what he was hoping to prove.
Land stock register
MR CORBELL: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. Minister, a press release issued by your office on 7 November last year relating to your now infamous land stock assessment prepared by Infrastructure and Asset Management in the Department of Treasury and Infrastructure stated:
It is simply a register of all our unleased land, not a list of sites for development.
That is what you said. However, a briefing noted by yourself on 6 November 2000 advising you of the purpose of the land stock register clearly states its true purpose. It says:
The purpose of this work would then lead to further investigation of alternative land use opportunities.
Will the minister explain the contradiction between his press release and the brief noted by him in relation to the purpose of the land stock register, a brief he read one day before he put out his press statement?
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, it seems like it is the day of the simplistic question. Mr Corbell has been given boxes of documents from which he has taken one document. From that document he has chosen about seven words which he quotes out of context. He says, "This work leads to" and then goes on with his seven simple words. What he does not read are the five dot points above it. This is quite interesting. He tried to get this up a couple of weeks ago in a nice article in the Saturday Canberra Times which pointed out that, shock, horror, this is what the minister said and he is wrong. We presented to the Canberra Times journalist the five dot points that clarify exactly what I said and he printed them. I note that Mr Corbell did not read out those five dot points. Perhaps he would like to read to the Assembly the whole of the statement.
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Far from being a day of simplistic questions, it is a day of simplistic answers. Can we hold out any hope that the minister will apologise to the Canberra community for misleading them as to the true purpose of the land stock register, as you were so clearly advised on 6 November last year?
MR SMYTH: I guess the answer to that is: can we hold out any hope at all that Mr Corbell will actually read the whole briefing into the record to tell people the full story? But it is interesting: he reads these seven words in order to weave this web. It is more fairy floss again from the opposition spokesman on planning. But he has been caught out again.
This is the man who said that the 5 per cent open space rule of thumb was this government's. Yet it was put in place by Bill Wood. This is the man who said that it was the government's grab for land. In fact, we had sold only 3,000 blocks in five