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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2711 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

The most significant example of this is in relation to availability for public viewing of comments from the NCA. The ad for DV 138 placed by PALM in the Canberra Times on 19 May 2001 inviting public comment states that any comments received, including from the NCA, will be available for perusal from 3 July to 24 July. While the notification in the Canberra Times complied with section 19 in terms of stating the necessary events in the process, the carrying out of the stated events in the notification did not all occur.

Members of Save the Ridge who tried to access these documents have told me that comments from the NCA were received by PALM on 20 June but were not made publicly available until the PALM report to the executive had been signed off by the minister and made available to the public on 6 August. Thus it appears that section 21 has not been complied with. I think the committee should look into this breach of the land act. The Save the Ridge group has sought its own legal opinion on this, but because the committee has not sought public comment it has not been able to formally present this information to the committee.

For all those reasons I think it is extremely important that Mr Hird and Mr Rugendyke reconsider what they have done here and that this Assembly direct this committee to take its responsibility seriously and do the work that it should be doing.

I therefore move the amendment circulated in my name which says:

Omit all words after "That", substitute:

"this Assembly does not accept this report and requests the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services to call for, and consider, public submissions into Draft Variation No 138 to the Territory Plan before re-presenting its report."

I ask members for their support because I agree with Mr Corbell. A majority of members of this committee have failed to understand their responsibility. Mr Hird and Mr Rugendyke speak of making a decision. Their job is not to make a decision unless an informed position has helped them reach that decision. They do not have an informed position; they have not considered any of the issues that I have just raised. For that reason they have failed in their responsibility. Unfortunately it has come to the point where I have to ask the Assembly to instruct Mr Hird and Mr Rugendyke to do their jobs.

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (5.01): Mr Deputy Speaker, I want to speak briefly. I think there does come a time when the decision needs to be made. There has been a lot of effort put into this and a lot of submissions over a considerable time, some years, I think.

We talk about saving the ridge. I think the ridge has been saved. The ridge was saved by my colleague, Mr Humphries, back in about October last year when that route was going to go through O'Connor ridge. I have walked O'Connor ridge. I have crossed it quite a few times going to Bruce Stadium. That route was deleted. If anyone bothered to look at the route favoured by the majority of the committee and the government they would see that it has very little to do with O'Connor ridge per se.

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