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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1992 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

On that history, I believe this motion is acceptable and should be supported by this Assembly. With the twin approach we propose of looking at planning outcomes and the effect on the budget, we will be able work out whether what the government is proposing is sustainable, whether it will impact on local affordability and what impact it will have on the rights of leaseholders, so that before the government gets into what can be a very risky venture they satisfy us-on behalf of the ratepayers, the taxpayers and the voters of the ACT-that they have got it right.

I commend the motion to the house.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.56): Mr Speaker, will the real shadow minister for planning please stand up? We have just heard from Brendan Smyth, the man who through his administration managed to put nine Canberra suburbs on the endangered places register of the National Trust. Given that this is a planning and land matter, I would have thought the shadow minister for planning would have raised this matter. I look forward to hearing Mrs Dunne echo the views of the real shadow minister for planning, Mr Smyth, later in the debate. Clearly, Mrs Dunne is out of her depth and Brendan Smyth is still running the show on planning for the Liberal Party. That bodes well for us.

The motion Mr Smyth has moved as the de facto shadow minister for planning today is one the government will not support. That is not because we are worried about scrutiny or because we are worried about having our policies properly tested. We are very open and are willing to have that process occur. But we have to ask the question: what is it exactly that the Liberal Party proposes to investigate in this inquiry?

For instance, has the government made a specific announcement about the model for the implementation of government land development? No. Has the government introduced specific legislation to enable government land development, say, through the establishment of a new land development agency? No. Has the government put forward any economic modelling? No. Has the government put forward any economic analysis? No.

In the absence of any of this information, exactly what is it that the Liberal Party are proposing to investigate? It sounds to me that they are not proposing to investigate anything of substance. They are simply trying to establish an inquiry which will allow them to trot out the usual arguments they have been trotting out since the election about why this is a bad idea. In other words, they are proposing to establish an inquiry when they have prejudged the outcome and already decided that government land development is a bad thing.

This was emphasised in the comments Mr Smyth made. My Smyth said, "Do we need government land development?" With all due respect to Mr Smyth, that is not a decision for him. This government went to the election with a policy to establish government land development, and this government is entitled to seek to implement its policy. Mr Smyth is saying, "I want to thwart the government's agenda." He said it in black and white. It will appear in Hansard when it is printed later today.

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