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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1748 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

land are obviously concerned that residential development is now contemplated, despite the present Chief Minister's statement not all that long ago that no residential development was contemplated in the foreseeable future.

No matter what sort of assurance of that kind the government gives you, residential development is never off the agenda until you excise the land and put it into such a category that it cannot be proposed for residential development. If that had already been done, we would not be discussing this today. Mr Corbell would not be forcing the minister into doing a review which he clearly does not want to do. He is doing it only because it is pretty clear that it is another case where perhaps the majority of the members of this place want the government to do something it does not want to do, so it has to come up with an alternative.

I do not particularly object to the suggestion coming now from the minister. I think that is something I could support. But it intrigues me that the opposition has to move a motion dealing with this piece of land before the government decides to do anything. We can only assume that if Mr Corbell had not moved his motion today there would be a proposal on the book some time in the next few months to put houses all over the land.

This motion has caused the government to pause about that and at least, to quote Mr Smyth's amendment, "to consider whether or not to permit residential development or to revise the land use policy to Urban Open Space". That should have been done without the necessity for this debate we are having today.

I am a bit concerned that you can never be sure, no matter what the government says, that they are serious about a particular undertaking. You have to keep giving them a prod along just to make sure that they have not changed their mind and now the thing is up for grabs once again.

I think it is reasonable, under the circumstances, that those people who have a concern about this block of land, and have had for many years, should once again be coming to the surface and expressing their concerns. They have no commitment from the government, apparently-no undertaking from the government whatsoever-that this land will not have houses all over it. The land does deserve more consideration than that, so I commend Mr Corbell for bringing forward his motion. It seems that it will at least prod the minister and the government into doing what they should have done without it.

MR RUGENDYKE (3.41): I seem to recall that there has been a fair degree of discussion about this block of land. I seem to recall driving past it and seeing some big old trees. Part of it seems to be less valuable environmentally. It appears to be just a paddock. Some sort of compromise has been discussed, if not made, over some residential development on some of the land. I think Mr Corbell's motion to completely bar residential, full stop, is not appropriate. I think it is wise to agree to the amendment put by the minister and to consider whether to permit residential development or whether it is appropriate to revise the land use policy to urban open space. I think that is fair enough. I support the motion, with Mr Smyth's amendment.

MR CORBELL (3.43): Speaking to the minister's amendment, Mr Speaker, let me put a very clear argument as to some of the misconceptions the minister has deliberately put forward in this debate. The first of those is his suggestion-

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