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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 472 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Yesterday the Assembly did just that with regard to the terms of reference for the transport study, with which you expressed your disapproval. Therefore, Minister, do you resile from what you said in your ministerial statement in this place in December, or was it merely more empty rhetoric aimed at enhancing a policy approach that has been seen through?

MR CORBELL: I do not know whether the question is in accordance with the standing orders, but no, I do not resile from my comments.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Minister, can you inform the Assembly what you meant in your reference, and can you outline your thinking on an appropriate way for the Assembly to consider planning?

MR CORBELL: I am very happy to answer Mrs Dunne's question. The issue which I was seeking to raise and which this government has been seeking to raise since the election is that planning needs to be viewed on a strategic whole-of-city basis rather than simply on the detail around particular planning decisions and particular development decisions. That is why the government has sought to emphasise the role for a strategic plan for the city. I think it is appropriate that as an Assembly we look at ways we can operate in focusing on those broad strategic questions in terms of our long-term vision for the city, how we believe the city will grow and develop into the future and how a strategic plan can enhance that.

It is interesting that these comments come from Mrs Dunne, because only yesterday we heard Mrs Dunne hark back to the cold war terminology of Soviet-style five-year plans and state planning, saying, "How dare this government take a proactive role towards planning for the future of our city. How dare this government seek to impose a strategic plan on us when really we should let the market do its best." That was the philosophy we heard from Mrs Dunne yesterday. It is a very regrettable philosophy, and it is exactly the philosophy that led to the Liberals receiving one of their poorest votes in a range of inner city suburbs across the city at the last election because of the deleterious impact their planning policies had on those garden city suburbs.

Canberra Day celebrations

MS GALLAGHER: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Wood. There have been suggestions that the Canberra Day festivities on 18 March could not be held on the lawns in front of old Parliament House because of difficulties with the tent embassy. Can the minister please tell the Assembly what the current situation is?

MR WOOD: Difficulties with the tent embassy-reports on that basis were wrong. In general, the government's relationship with the Aboriginal tent embassy is positive. The tent embassy has clearly indicated that they welcome our Canberra Day events. There is no problem there. There is, however, a logistical problem that will affect part of the celebrations, but it is not related to the Aboriginal tent embassy.

Planning for the Canberra Day celebrations on 18 March had been based on locating all of the events in the area in front of old Parliament House and down towards the Reconciliation Place site. Those events include the balloon fiesta, ACT Alive, Motorfest, the community parade, Navy Day activities and lunchtime and evening concerts.

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