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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 881 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

provision for a dwelling. I have spoken to Ms Tucker about this matter. She has circulated an amendment, which I would be happy to have incorporated in my motion.

When this issue first came to my notice before the last election, Christine Murray asked the government for a variation so that they could build a house on this land. The government at that time had a policy of maintaining urban open space and the minister at the time, while being sympathetic, asked the Murrays to seek the support of other members of the Assembly before he would make a decision. As I said, he was basically sympathetic.

The election came and went and things changed. The Murray family has been to see a number of members in this place, including the present minister. I have to say that, from my understanding, the treatment of the Murray family at the hands of the minister and the minister's office has been fairly shameful. The minister's office has offered the Murrays a number of bandaid solutions. One of them was simple. They said, "You can put your life on hold, you can put your business on hold, for 15 months, 18 months or two years until we get around to doing neighbourhood planning in Narrabundah, and we will look at it in that context."

Christine Murray said to me the other day, "Would Mr Corbell be prepared to put his income on hold for 18 months while this is being sorted out?" What Christine Murray does for the children of Canberra puts bread and butter on her table and shoes on her children's feet. Is Mr Corbell prepared to do what he has asked Christine Murray to do?

One of the other suggestions that came from the minister's office was that Christine should find a helpful friendly rural lessee who is prepared to sublet a piece of their land. If they could sublet a piece of somebody's else rural lease, the minister would give them permission to build a house on it. That is entirely and utterly inappropriate, and illegal under the way the rural policy works. It shows complete lack of understanding by the minister's office of how the rural policy works in this town.

On the contrary, the community is very supportive of Christine Murray and her activities with Animals Afloat. I have a letter of support from the Old Narrabundah Community Council, which feels that Animals Afloat makes a significant contribution to the community. The letter states:

We believe that the proposal will not have huge impact on any future development of an Old Narrabundah Community plan. Further there is already a precedent in the area with changes to the lease ...

The loss of the business Animals Afloat, which is the result of the present circumstances, is a huge community loss.

Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the letter from John Keeley, the chair of the Old Narrabundah Community Council Inc.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker; thank you members. I present the following paper:

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