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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 2 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 509 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Sustainability is the objective of the government. Sustainability is the vision we are seeking to put in place through all those mechanisms. However, we must ensure it is done in the context of not unfairly disadvantaging those who already face disadvantage. In relation to the residents of Gungahlin, there is clear disadvantage which must be addressed now.

There is a balance. It is the balance the government has and it is the balance that we are seeking to achieve. We do not, for a moment, suggest that the Gungahlin Drive extension is the solution to Gungahlin's transport problems. It is not the solution but it is, however, part of the solution. That is why we are seeking to do the other things I have mentioned, and why we will not be supporting Ms Tucker's motion.

I am attracting a few epithets in this place, and I think that is great. Yesterday I was a supremo, a champion of five-year plans and a commissar. Today I am a Stalinist and yesterday I was also Whitlamesque. They all sound really interesting. However, Whitlamesque sounds pretty good to me. If I had my pick, I would wear that as a badge of pride. Gough Whitlam would have to be one of the most significant figures in the Australian political landscape in the past 40 years. Whitlam is the man who introduced free education in the higher education sector. He is also the man who had the first environment ministry in the history of Australia. I think that is a fantastic badge of pride. If members of the opposition want to call me Whitlamesque, go for your life.

Mr Speaker, there is another issue I want to address. Members of the opposition claim that there is some grubby back-room deal going on. To use Mrs Dunne's words, some grubby back-room deal and-

Mrs Dunne: Brow-beating.

MR CORBELL: Brow-beating. The AIS put it to me that they did not want to comment publicly on this issue. The AIS indicated to me that they wanted to be restrained on this issue and I respect their position. I respect their concerns. I understand the issues they are raising and we will be working with them in an endeavour to address those concerns. I will be working in a constructive and positive manner with representatives of the AIS and the ASC. I will be meeting regularly with them to discuss their concerns. Officers of the government will be meeting regularly with representatives of the AIS and the ASC to talk to them about their concerns. The first of those meetings is scheduled for next week, and I imagine there will be many more meetings.

I have made it clear to the AIS that we will work with them every step of the way towards the implementation of our election commitment. The AIS understands that we are committed to our election promises and that we believe that is the appropriate course of action.

We do not believe that the other issues raised by the Liberal Party in relation to the impact on master planning and the impact on residences are insurmountable. Indeed, we believe these are issues which can be effectively addressed through discussion and exchange of ideas.

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