Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 412 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
The same can be said for suburban plans. Mr Corbell said in December after coming to government that the suburban plans would take six months. Three months have gone by and nothing has happened, but he still says that they will take six months. Officers of PALM will tell anyone who cares to listen that they expect to see the first drafts come Christmas. An example of Mr Corbell's crash and crash through approach can be seen in Saturday's Canberra Times, where Mr Corbell was quoted as saying in relation to the neighbourhood plans that they would be accomplished in an intense period of six to seven months, blowing out the deadline a bit, with authorities in place by the end of the year. He said that that is important because we need to convince ourselves that it does not automatically take 18 months to complete a planning exercise. Really, Mr Corbell just wants to crash and crash through and I fear that he does not want to hear any criticism of anything that he has to say.
That is just old-fashioned state planning on a grand scale. Mr Corbell has a series of five-year plans that he proposes to impose upon the people of Canberra. Enough people in Canberra remember the bad old days well enough. They remember the flawed Harcourt Hill joint venture. One wonders whether this government will be any better at joint ventures than the previous one. They remember the mad grab for cash of the 1994 land sales.
There is a great minefield to traverse in becoming a land developer. That will be especially the case in the early months of the proposal when there will still be active developers in the field. We eagerly await details of the considerable amount of working capital that will be required to fund such a proposal, possibly as much as $150 million.
Mr Speaker, I am concerned at this savagely retrograde approach of a return to very unstable state planning. It will not only throw a spanner in the planning process, but also send precisely the wrong message to potential investors in the territory. The government stands condemned and this minister stands condemned for turning back the clock on planning in the ACT.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.52): Mr Speaker, anyone who listened to Mrs Dunne's speech would think that we were reliving a cold war debate. State planning, Orwellian, soviet style, big brother, socialist reality-that was chipped in by Mr Stefaniak-groupthink, supremo, and five-year plans are all words from this debate. They are words suited to a cold war debate, not to a contemporary debate about planning in this city. I think that this reflects the very sad reality that members of the opposition are trapped in when it comes to critiquing any alternative approach to planning in this city.
That they have to withdraw to the cold war rhetoric, that they have to resort to language which is so outdated, so irrelevant to the contemporary debates that our city faces, demonstrates their irrelevance as an opposition when it comes to putting forward alternative approaches to planning in our city. The last seven years of the Liberal government demonstrated their complete failure to respond to the planning challenges that our city faces, demonstrated their incapacity to recognise that planning is a public function that needs to be performed in the public interest. In contrast to the approach adopted by the previous government, this government is putting in place mechanisms