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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3361 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Council and it is considering that matter at the present time. Obviously, the government is watching with interest to see what the Heritage Council decides to do on that score.

MS TUCKER: That was not an answer to my question. My question was: how will you resolve the dilemma between the two potential situations? That was not answered.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ask your supplementary question, Ms Tucker.

MS TUCKER: My supplementary question is: if these trees were on private land, your government's tree protection laws would apply and it would be highly unlikely that approval would be given to cut down such significant trees. Isn't the potential of these trees being cut down inconsistent with your own tree protection laws?

MR HUMPHRIES: No, they are not, because quite different criteria are applied. With trees on private land, there was no public process to go through at all until Mr Smyth's recent tree protection legislation was brought forward. There was no provision at all to deal with somebody simply going along and cutting down a tree. With respect to trees on public land, there is a very different process at work.

As indicated, these trees are a matter of considerable public attention at the present time and they are afforded the protection of having debate about them, consideration by the Heritage Council and consideration by PALM and the Kingston Foreshore Development Authority, which are meeting, I understand, today to talk about ways of being able to resolve this problem.

There are no equivalents between the two processes. We have quite deliberately not applied the interim Tree Protection Act to public land and my recollection of the debate about the legislation is that no-one proposed that we should apply the legislation to public land. Why? It is because we agreed-I think even Ms Tucker would have agreed-that it makes sense to have a process which is different for public land from that for private land.


MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the chairman of the public accounts committee. Three times last week the Chief Minister was asked whether he knew the estimated final cost of TransACT's cable rollout. He said at first he did not know. Then he said it was about $200 million. Finally, he said that he would ask TransACT whether it could give a more precise figure and that if he got a more precise figure he would tell the Assembly, but he said that he did not believe the figure was yet available. Can the chairman of the public accounts committee tell the Assembly whether he knows the expected total cost of the rollout and the source of that information?

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. During the public accounts committee public hearing we asked-

Mr Humphries: The confidential public account committee hearings.

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