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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2239 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

I have to concur with everything that Mr Wood said about the review of the action plan and how it is quite separate from the review process that went on to determine how much land at east O'Malley should eventually be released. We know that the review of the action plan is part of a three-year rolling program that the fauna and flora committee undertakes. It would be quite remiss to use this motion as an opportunity to go back to taws and reassess whether or not more land at O'Malley needs to be excluded.

As we have heard, of the original 89 hectares of east O'Malley shown on the Territory Plan as residential, 70 per cent has been excised because of its high quality. The area that remains is in many ways degraded. It has a considerable cover of weeds and lots of tracks go through it. The whole process is a testament to the commitment of the people on this side of the house to the maintenance of the action plan for the red box/yellow gum grassy woodland endangered areas-and, as well as Mr Wood, I can say that in one breath.

The motion that Ms Tucker has moved today is entirely unacceptable because what it would do is create a needless delay of six months or probably a year in the release of this land. In many ways, this is badly needed land that should have been released some time ago. Members on this side have been adamant about this. They have been at great pains to make sure that the Minister for Planning fulfils his responsibilities in respect of the land release program, and it has been delayed unduly already.

Going to some of the substantive issues addressed by Ms Tucker, if Ms Tucker had availed herself of the briefing that I received yesterday from the land section, the wildlife research unit and the consultant who is doing the stormwater, she would have seen what a fine development and what a great way forward this can be. The stormwater proposals for this development are not your ordinary stormwater works. This is best practice. This is state-of-the-art stuff.

As I was saying briefly yesterday, when I first became involved in Landcare, probably in the mid-90s, and we were talking about issues relating to river flows and things like that, the stormwater people came and said, "Our job in stormwater is to get as much water off the land as possible into drains and into creeks as quickly as possible, otherwise people might drown." We have had a complete turnaround in that approach by stormwater engineers, to the situation today where this project will be looking at innovative ways of keeping most of the water on the blocks for as long as possible. It means that you increase recharge and the area gets the water that it would normally get before it was built on. This is innovative stuff and it should be encouraged. The previous government instituted this practice and I am pleased to see that it has been continued by the present minister.

People are being shown how this sort of high-quality, upmarket development can be implemented. This sort of approach is more appealing in a way in that if it is used in respect of top-of-the-range developments, then people down the greasy pole will say, "Well, yes, we want that as well for our developments." Over time we will see a turnaround in the way we deal with stormwater, and this will be to the benefit of the whole environment. As the minister has said, silt fencing will be used in the estate.

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