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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3384 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The difficulty we have in debates like this is that issues can be reduced to a simple audit. We need to have some emotional commitment to the idea of open space, nature parks, the environment, and cultural and recreational infrastructure and support. To suggest that we look at this in the cold hard light of day, in terms of non-emotional dollars and cents and the numbers of trees saved or destroyed, reduces the entire discussion in a way that does not lead to the best outcomes for the community.

I get the feeling from listening to Mr Moore, Mr Osborne and Mr Stefaniak that they do not have any commitment to the irreplaceable inherent value of nature parks and the bush-value that makes this such a desirable place in which we want and choose to live. These are values that cannot be measured.

I would like to make a few other points in relation to some of the arguments and suggestions that have been advanced about the impact on Kaleen. This really is something of a furphy. There would be a significant impact on the northern end of Kaleen where John Dedman Drive comes into the Kaleen horse paddocks. At that point the road will run to within 150 to 200 metres of a significant number of houses that border the eastern alignment and Kaleen.

The discussion about the deviation of the eastern and western routes at the intersection of Ginninderra Drive really is not relevant to the impact on Kaleen. That is at least half a kilometre from the nearest house in Kaleen. The real impact is at Kaleen horse paddocks, and I think it is disingenuous to suggest that the western route involves a greater impact on the people of Kaleen than does the eastern route.

The most significant impact is at the horse paddocks section of the freeway. To conjure up an argument about the interests or rights of Kaleen residents at the point of the intersection of Ginninderra Drive really is a little artful. As I say, the intersection of Ginninderra Drive is at least half a kilometre from Kaleen.

I am interested in the ready acceptance by Mr Stefaniak and Mr Osborne of moving the egress of the John Dedman extension-now the Gungahlin Drive extension-200 metres east of Aranda. Once again it reflects a view about the nature park. Of course, I understand that there is some force in the argument of the people of Aranda, and certainly the impact on the people of Aranda is an issue that we need to address and be mindful of. But this suggestion that we can willy-nilly move the Gungahlin extension 200 metres into Black Mountain without any suggestion of or commitment to any environmental assessment of the impact is just a little bit frightening. I note that one of Mr Moore's concerns is that there will simply be no time for an environmental impact assessment of any sort.

I hope the government is not seriously suggesting that it would move the Gungahlin Drive extension 200 metres to the north of Caswell Drive without having an environmental impact assessment. I hope that is not what the government is suggesting in its ready acceptance of that apparent concession. In saying that, I accept the legitimate concerns of the people of Aranda.

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