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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 696 ..

Ministerial arrangements

MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for the Arts): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the Assembly that the Chief Minister will be absent from question time as he is attending a meeting of the state and Commonwealth attorneys-general. Questions normally directed to the Chief Minister should be directed to the Deputy Chief Minister.

Questions without notice

Gungahlin Drive extension

MR HUMPHRIES: My question is to Mr Corbell in his capacity as Minister for Planning. Mr Corbell, on 20 August last year you told a Save the Ridge group public meeting of about 400 people that a Labor government would commission an environmental impact statement into the proposed route for the Gungahlin Drive extension. As you are no doubt aware, Minister, an environmental impact statement is the most complex and intricate of the environmental assessments. It sits at the top of a pyramid of possible environmental assessments as the most time consuming and the most costly of the assessments that might be undertaken. Of course, no environmental impact statement has been conducted before in the ACT, given the very extensive and very costly nature of its process.

Do you stand by your promise at that public meeting that the government will commission the ACT's first environmental impact statement in respect of the Gungahlin Drive extension?

MR CORBELL: The government has commissioned an environmental assessment, the terms of reference of which I provided to members yesterday. That is an indication of this government's commitment to ensure that those environmental issues are appropriately addressed.

MR HUMPHRIES: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. My question was about an environmental impact statement. Minister, your promise was specifically to have an environmental impact statement. Will you commission an environmental impact statement in respect of the Gungahlin Drive extension, as you promised at the public meeting on 20 August last year?

MR CORBELL: The government's commitment was for a separate environmental assessment. That is the commitment we stand by. The terms of reference of that assessment were provided to members yesterday.

MR SPEAKER: Before we go any further, I would like to formally acknowledge the presence of a former member of the Assembly, Mr Trevor Kaine.

Racing industry

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming. Will the minister explain to the house the proposed initiatives to protect wagering revenues in New South Wales and the impact these changes would have on the ACT racing industry and surrounding areas?

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