Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2968 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
government was able to impose its will on the people of the ACT with regard to euthanasia, that does not seem particularly just, and there is no real rationale for it.
The rationale which sees us with a different capacity when it comes to making laws would have to be because we are situated in the national capital. That is, there is a tension between the role of Canberra as the national capital and as a place where people live. I see that that is really relevant only in the area of planning. I understand there is a rationale there. I would not necessarily support the notion that the identity of Canberra as the national capital should somehow be totally removed from planning decisions.
The fact that we are the national capital brings extra costs on us, in a number of ways. Thanks to the lobbying of governments of the ACT over the years, that is acknowledged by the Commonwealth government in the form of Commonwealth grants. Hopefully that will continue, because I believe there are some real issues there.
I do not think the federal government has done a fantastic job, more recently, in recognising the importance of Canberra as the national capital. The fact that they were happy to go along with the V8 supercar race around the parliamentary triangle was an ill-advised decision. The federal government has a responsibility to take these sorts of decisions seriously and recognise that they must have a different agenda from that of the ACT government in respect of planning. So whilst I do not think they have done a fantastic job in that way, more recently, I think they do have a role to play.
I agree with Mr Hargreaves when he says that, in other areas-such as those I have mentioned-the ACT should have the same rights as states. Also, as Mr Humphries said, we can have this discussion now, but it is a little academic because we cannot do anything about it.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.50): Mr Hargreaves has raised an important issue in the MPI this afternoon. He has raised it in the context of a number of debates around the role of the territory and Commonwealth governments, particularly as they relate to planning issues in the territory-but not planning issues exclusively. From the government's perspective, there are a number of issues which the government believes can be better managed by a greater level of dialogue and cooperation between the Commonwealth and the ACT.
In relation to planning and land management issues, it is the government's very serious concern that the Commonwealth continues to release and sell its land holdings in the territory, without any real appreciation of the impact that has on the territory's planning and land management process and its own land release program. The Commonwealth has, in the past six to nine months, released a number of very significant sites-undeveloped land-in the territory. Those sites have been released in a way which has had an impact on the territory's own land release program. I believe it is important that, as a territory, we seek greater levels of cooperation between the Commonwealth and the territory, at least on the coordination of these issues.