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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 1491 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, the government has not signalled its timeframe, beyond that already outlined in the capital works program, for the development of this road, nor has it identified whether there is a need for a variation to the Territory Plan for its proposed capital works to commence. That is very disappointing. I would have thought any responsible government would have identified the need for such activity. I understand from advice from the minister's officer that a Territory Plan variation will be required. I would be grateful for the minister's clarification as to whether a Territory Plan variation will be required for the capital works project proposed by the government to proceed.

The Labor Party has made its position clear. On being elected to government in October, we will pursue the western alignment for the Gungahlin Drive extension. We believe that that is the most appropriate alignment. The government has a few questions yet to answer on this matter and I would appreciate if it gave the Assembly the courtesy of an answer on whether any further planning approvals in relation to changes to the Territory Plan are required before the government's proposed capital works project can proceed.

MS TUCKER (6.08): I will be brief in speaking to this motion. I just want to pick up the issue that Mr Corbell raised in terms of the timeframe. This response is a very predictable one to a committee report that was taking the government line, apart from Mr Corbell's dissenting report, so there are no surprises in it. I put the Greens' view on this subject on the record when the report was tabled by the committee. The important point here is the timeframe. This response is about an election issue. Once again, the government has failed totally to acknowledge the broader environmental and social responsibilities it holds. That is not confined to this government. Previous governments also have been guilty in this regard.

Providing employment options in Gungahlin is an issue that the Greens have always raised. More recently, we have seen this government being more supportive of a major development at the airport, so you just know that you cannot take them even a little bit seriously when they say that they are interested in making proper accommodation for employment options in the various locations and town centres, particularly in Gungahlin. We know that the government treats it as a joke. What we have to do in this place is to establish that this project will not go ahead in any way until after the election, which means the design work as well. That work should not start, either. I just wanted to make the point that we should let the community decide about this project.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (6.10): Mr Speaker, I want contribute briefly to the debate by addressing the comments raised by both Mr Corbell and Ms Tucker about employment opportunities in Gungahlin and perhaps put something on the table of which Mr Corbell may not be aware, an historical matter about the development of employment bases in the town centre.

When this government came to office in 1995 and work began on what is now the Dame Pattie Menzies Building in Dickson, we were accused of eschewing the opportunity to build that government office building in Gungahlin. We were told that we were being dreadful, that we should have taken the opportunity to give value to Gungahlin residents by building it in the town centre. We responded that, in fact, when we came to office in 1995 the decision had already been made to build the new building, the new home for

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