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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4469 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Mr Corbell cited some of the things that went wrong in Ngunnawal and Amaroo. They went wrong not because the ACT government failed to drive the bulldozers but because the ACT government, through its regulatory authorities, failed to exercise appropriate power. Being able to drive the bulldozers or pay the people who drive the bulldozers will not deliver us any more power over planning decisions. Those decisions rest with the planning authority. If they have failed, it is because they are under-resourced or under-legislated.

If my colleagues have anything to answer for, I will own up to it There have been failures. We have failed in the past. It is time we owned up to it. Let us stop the blame shifting. Let us try get it right in the future.

Ms Tucker: You are blaming them.

MRS DUNNE: I am accepting the blame. We were in government for seven years. If things went wrong, it was because of a lack of power this place as a collective gave to the planning and land authority. If things are wrong in Amaroo, Ngunnawal, Palmerston or anywhere else, it is because the planners did not have the power to exercise.

The minister says that the Land Development Agency will be delivering not only buckets of money but high-quality social outcomes. I will not resile from the fact that there have been failures in the past and that perhaps past Liberal governments have contributed to those failures. We should be trying to make it better in the future by keeping very close tabs on the great social engineering program that this government proposes to embark upon.

MR CORBELL ( Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (8.07): Mrs Dunne's proposal is for the Land Development Agency to report to the relevant standing committee of the Assembly. The reason for this proposal is the magnitude of the outcomes that she asserts are so dangerous for the territory.

In rebuttal, the only point I would make is that it is not just a regulatory failure. The government accepts that there has been regulatory failure. The issue is also about the euphemistic term "yield". We saw it again this morning in the Canberra Times. Mr Mike Taylor asserted that one of the reasons the government was failing in its government land development activity was insufficient yield in Yerrabi 2. I can only make the point again: what does that mean? It means that the government is being criticised because we have too few blocks in the estate.

Go to parts of Ngunnawal, parts of Nicholls, parts of Amaroo or parts of Palmerston and you will see too much yield. There might have been a good financial return, but it is a pretty poor living outcome for the people who live there. This is not just about regulatory activity. It is also about the attitude of the development agency to the outcomes for the next 30 to 40 years. The government's view is that the Land Development Agency certainly brings financial focus but has to bring a prudent and responsible financial focus. The fact that it is a public sector agency also means that there will be a broader range of considerations along with the financial consideration. That is the marked difference between the approach of this government and that suggested by Mrs Dunne.

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