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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2979 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

not address the concerns raised by Mr Smyth about the interim effect of the draft variation. The government has said that it will have a staggered implementation effect. The draft variation has been out for comment for some time, yet the interim effect will not start until September. Maybe the government is listening to concerns and will push back that commencement date.

I have listened to the debate today about whether or not we should withdraw draft variation 200. I have considered it carefully, but to vary the Territory Plan there is a clear process. There is usually quite a long process that involves a number of opportunities for consultation both through the department and this Assembly.

While I think the concerns that have been raised are quite valid, as I said during the MPI, we need to move away from looking specifically at the concerns we have with the draft variation and move to the process. I have been critical of this government for their lack of action in a number of key areas while reviews go on. So it is disappointing that when they do take immediate action they have produced what is obviously a flawed solution.

But as a matter of process is the withdrawal of draft variation 200 the best solution? Is this a solution the Assembly should adopt to deal with the concerns we have about the grab bag of planning we will end up with? I do not believe so, and hence I cannot support this motion. We as members of this Assembly have a need to be more vigilant with this government and its planning. We will have to monitor all the reviews they are doing. We will have to watch closely what is going on, and we will have to endeavour to work to ensure that we do have, at the end, a long-term plan for planning in this city, one that the Assembly, not just the government, can be proud of.

MRS DUNNE (4.32), in reply: We need to go back to the thrust of the motion. We came in here today to discuss whether or not draft variation 200 should continue in its present form while we are looking at the spatial plan, the social plan, the economic white paper and other strategic reviews that are going on, such as the reviews of public transport and affordable housing.

I made the point with great emphasis that I do not disagree with the basic thrust of draft variation 200. I repeated it so as to emphasise that to the minister. But his contribution was predicated on the fact that I was going to come in here and bag him. He did not have the wit to adjust his response. He said he expected me to come in here and say, "It is wrong. Throw it out." I did not do that.

Mr Corbell, in a characteristic knee-jerk defence, extolled the virtues of draft variation 200 without looking at the substance of the motion. The motion does not say there is anything wrong with draft variation 200 but says that it is putting the cart before the horse.

Mr Corbell extolled the virtues of the urban renaissance report prepared by the OECD. He said that it was the job of the media in this town to take up the challenge and start discussion on this. In fact, it is the job of the minister, the person who inherited the mantle of the report, to take up the challenge and continue the discussion. But this minister has attempted to hide this report because it says so many things which are inconvenient. Mr Corbell made his way on to the treasury bench on the view that planning was in chaos and Canberra was in chaos. The OECD debunks much of that.

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