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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2709 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

the no further need for public submissions or public hearings. This sort of information should have been considered by the committee before reporting. This sort of information should have been given the airing it deserved.

I do not have a problem with making a decision. I do not have a problem with addressing this issue. But I do have a problem with decision-making on the run, decision-making without taking full account of the issues concerned, and decision-making without even giving the community the opportunity to comment on it.

Mr Deputy Speaker, this report is unacceptable. It is, without a doubt, the one report from the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services which makes me feel ashamed to be a member of that committee. I feel appalled at, speechless at, and angry about the conduct of the other two members of this committee. If members want to use their numbers on a committee to get an issue through, that is one thing; but to ignore the procedural fairness inherent in the committee's statutory responsibilities under the land act to consider draft variations to the Territory Plan is another, and that is exactly what they have done. They have ignored all concepts of procedural fairness in pursuing this issue, and I am wholeheartedly dissenting from it.

MS TUCKER (4.52): I am not surprised that Mr Corbell is as appalled as he is. I think anybody who has shown a close interest in this saga has to be appalled. I am very worried about the process adopted by two members of this committee in not bothering to seek further public submissions even though new information is emerging from the FOI requests of the Save the Ridge community group.

The committee also should have sought community reaction to the government's response to the earlier inquiry. The costings for this road have been found to be very rubbery, which calls into question the committee's conclusion in their original inquiry that the western option was significantly more expensive than the eastern option. In the original report the committee quoted $22 million maximum for the east and $28 million maximum for the west, a difference of $6 million, or a 27 per cent difference. Mr Smyth said yesterday in the Assembly $32 million for the east and $34.7 million for the west, only a $2.7 million or 8 per cent difference.

Is a $2.7 million saving worth destroying four hectares of bush on Bruce and O'Connor ridges, as acknowledged in the government's response as the difference in the area of vegetation lost in the eastern route over the western route? We know that in the committee process there was little understanding and therefore no regard given for value other than monetary value, except, of course, when they were looking at amenity for car parks and so on on the western side of the Bruce Precinct Association's position.

There is also the issue of the difference in length of the two options. Mr Smyth said on Tuesday that the eastern option was 300 metres longer than the western route, 5.1 kilometres to 4.8 kilometres, or a six per cent difference. This means that the eastern route will cause a six per cent increase in fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution because of the extra distance travelled by cars-an increase when the government says it is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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