Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2003 ..
MS TUCKER (11.36): I have no problem with committees having an opportunity to look at significant change. However, I am not supportive of this motion. I feel it would be much more efficient to wait for the government to come up with detail of how it plans to proceed with the public policy position it has taken on land development. Once the government has shown us how they intend to progress this, then it would be quite appropriate for a committee or committees-I do not have a position on whether it should be a committee or committees-to look at the proposal and invite community input. The concerns raised in this motion could be looked at in such an inquiry. I do not have any problem with committee involvement, but I do have a problem with it happening before we have something specific to look at.
It is the government's right, as the Liberals would always strongly assert-I agree with them-to proceed with the position it was elected on. The Assembly has a responsibility to scrutinise that, but if a committee is to be effective and efficient it would be much more useful for it to have in front of it the documents, the framework or whatever it is that is necessary. Structures of governance would have to be developed to support this significant change in management of land development. That is the detail a committee should look at.
Mr Humphries argued that an estimates committee is being set up today when we do not have the budget documents. I do not follow that line of argument. That estimates committee will not have hearings until we have the budget. I do not think Mr Humphries' argument is logical.
There is an important role for committees and I support their involvement, but I am not prepared to support this motion today.
MS DUNDAS (11.38): I am also not entirely happy with supporting this motion today. What Mr Smyth is calling on the committees to inquire into-the methodologies and outcomes proposed for resumption by the government of the process of land development, including the sustainability of the economic models, the impact on land and housing affordability and the likely impact on the current rights of leaseholders-is something the government should be doing as they move down the path to taking back control of land development. If they are not doing these things, then I would be terribly concerned and would have no problem with having a committee inquiry into the lack of government investigation of this process.
As was said in debate earlier, I would prefer to have something from the government to work on before this matter goes to a committee. This Assembly does have a role to keep the government accountable. I am not yet convinced that the government is not looking at these things. If greater evidence comes to light, or if we do not hear from the minister in the near future about what is going on, then I would be quite happy to see this matter go to a committee. At a later date the Assembly may call on the minister to table any studies he is doing so that we can see whether there is a need for greater investigation by the Assembly of land development control. I cannot support this motion.
Debate (on motion by Ms Gallagher ) adjourned to the next sitting.