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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1753 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

I will support the motion, with the two amendments. I think that is quite sensible. But, as I said, I have only had the information today to base my assessment on. However, I agree that we need to be cautious when making decisions of this nature. I am not an ecologist or an expert on this, but my understanding is that isolated trees in developments become susceptible to disease. The argument that the trees will be saved in the middle of developments is not a very strong argument. Nevertheless, I am open to something perhaps happening there one day, but I think that PALM does need to conduct a proper review so that we ensure that we make the right decisions. I will support the motion, with the two amendments.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.02): I need to clarify a few points. Mr Kaine said it was great that Mr Corbell was giving the government a prod. I might prod Mr Kaine's memory. He was part of the Assembly that voted for the variation to change this block of land to residential. But times change.

The government does not need a prod. We have a land release program that lists this block of land for the year 2003-04. It says that work has to be done before that happens. I think Mr Kaine knows that, from the smirk I am getting from across the chamber. I have said consistently that we needed to do further study to make sure we get it right, and that in the lease and development conditions we would protect the majority of the significant trees.

Mr Corbell said that you do not want to live under a 200, 300 or 400-year-old tree. The lease and development conditions are very important to make sure that we protect those trees and that we protect the residents that might live under them. The lease and development conditions, as Mr Corbell well knows, are a very effective, important tool in making sure we get the planning right.

The government is happy with Ms Tucker's amendment to my amendment to Mr Corbell's motion. There is clearly a divergence of opinion in the Assembly. We do not need a review with a fixed outcome but a genuine review to make sure that all the considerations are taken on board and that we get the best outcome for the people of Canberra.

MR CORBELL (4.03): I think Mr Kaine was right when he said what would have happened if I had not moved this motion today.

Mr Smyth: We would have done the further studies, as I told you.

MR CORBELL: Mr Smyth interjects, "I would have done the further studies." That response from the minister beggars belief, simply because this minister only says he is being a good guy when he is embarrassed into it. We have seen it time and time again. This is the same minister who refused to accept the petition from residents of Narrabundah concerned about redevelopment in their suburb until he suddenly discovered that I had agreed to do it instead. Then he made two quick phone calls, saying, "I am available. I am willing to talk to you." It is one thing for the minister to say he is the good guy, but it is another to judge him by his actions. It is only when there is a bit of adverse publicity around that Mr Smyth becomes a reasonable man.

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