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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 773 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

gardens policies. I would like a reassurance from the minister that, in fact, he and the Housing executives have not given such a commitment to the Lyons Community Association.

MR MOORE: No such commitment has been given. Ms Tucker, I was surprised when I read that. I did read the papers that were circulated. People who read that newsletter from now on ought to take what they read with a pinch of salt.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. According to the consultant who is managing the consultation process and who spoke to a member of my staff at that meeting, the brief is only to consult with the community on the physical master plan urban design matters. I am interested to know how the government is going to ensure that issues of community development, the role of public housing, building social capital and so on will be included in the community consultation if the brief to the consultant is so narrow.

MR MOORE: The brief to the consultant is entirely appropriate; it is about getting a specific master plan. Issues of building social capital and the number of housing tenants in there are matters properly for government and we will take that responsibility seriously and wear it on our shoulders.

Glenloch cork plantation

MR CORBELL: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services and relates to the Glenloch cork plantation. Minister, the exclusive in-principle agreement between ACT Forests and Amorim Pty Ltd in relation to the stripping and use of cork from the plantation provides Amorim with the first right of refusal of the cork produced from the first two harvests-the initial stripping and the second stripping in eight to 10 years time. Officers from ACT Forests confirmed in a briefing of my office earlier this week that ACT Forests would rely on Amorim to value the cork produced from the harvests prior to purchasing it.

Minister, how can you ensure that the ACT community is receiving full value for money when the company-that is, Amorim-with which your department has entered into an exclusive arrangement to purchase the cork will also be the company advising the department on how much it will pay for the cork? Can you identify the person from the Canberra and District Winegrowers Association who invited Amorim to be the exclusive partner?

MR SMYTH: As I explained to Mr Corbell yesterday in response to his previous question, these people are the ones with the experience. It is not an experience that we have. It is not an experience that you can pick up on the street. You go looking for experts to develop partnerships so that you can get on with doing a good job.

In regard to the cork plantation, when we looked at what needed to be done we sought expert advice round the world. Amorim are the people who can provide it. Yes, we have an agreement with them. They will tell us how much the cork is worth, because nobody else can.

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