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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2656 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

I understand that, following further discussions Mrs Dunne and I have had, Mrs Dunne will be moving an amendment to my amendment to delete the date 5 November and replace it with the date 12 November. That provides an additional week and allows the committee to report at the beginning of the sitting period in November.

The government is prepared to support that amendment to my amendment because it allows the committee to report in a time frame that members are comfortable with at this stage, and it allows the government to respond and bring the bill on for debate in that November sitting period. That is an acceptable, if tight, time frame, and we will certainly use our best endeavours to provide all the necessary information to the committee. I anticipate that the committee will also use its best endeavours to meet that reporting date.

As members may be aware, there is a piece of consequential legislation that goes with the Planning and Land Bill. That bill is contemplated for introduction in the next sitting period, in the last week of September. I would like to foreshadow to members that at that time I will also move its referral to the committee, so that the committee has the complete package of legislation.

I accept and understand members' rationale for wanting an inquiry but reiterate that the government feels strongly that this is an important piece of legislation that has already been subject to very detailed community discussion, both in its preparation since its tabling and, more importantly, in the lead-up to the election itself. The election itself was the opportunity for the Canberra community to vote on key policy-the establishment of an independent planning authority and the resumption of a level of government land development activity-and the community endorsed the government's policy.

In those circumstances, a timely but not unduly extended inquiry is acceptable. I foreshadow that I will be moving my amendment once Mrs Dunne has moved her amendment to the original motion.

MRS DUNNE (11.40): I seek leave to move amendment No 1, circulated in my name.

Leave granted.

MR SPEAKER: Resume your seat for moment, Mrs Dunne. Mr Corbell raised the spectre of whether or not this was in order, and in the short time available to me I took some advice on the matter. The Planning and Land Bill was introduced on the same day this motion was placed before the Assembly. It is true that the motion that was before the Assembly did not comprehend the Planning and Land Bill, but it is an alternative way of dealing with many of the same issues. So, on this occasion I have decided to allow the amendment.

MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I move the following amendment:

Omit all words after "That", substitute the following words: "the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment inquire into and report on the operation of the Planning and Land Bill 2002."

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