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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 211 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

I was at the blood bank the other day and one of the nurses there said, "If only we could have these facilities. We have lived in Gungahlin so long and we don't have these facilities."There is a demand out there for facilities and we have to marry those two things, but, as Ms Tucker said to me privately before we came in here, we have to be careful in suggesting this consultation that it is not seen as holding up Gungahlin for another year. That is why we have put a very strict timetable on this motion. I am calling on this government to act quickly, consultatively and expeditiously. That would put a great deal of emphasis and a great deal of responsibility on the Gungahlin Community Council to come to the table in an open way.

There are many issues here. Mr Corbell, as the Planning Minister, has spoken almost romantically about the importance of planning. I think that he would really like to have a planned Utopia, but here Mr Corbell's planned Utopia has run into reality. There is a need for a viable town centre, but it has to carry with it both business and people. This is enormously inconvenient for a minister who was very big on consultation when he was an opposition spokesman and who has been very slow to act when it comes to the hard task of actually doing the consulting with the people of Gungahlin,.

This minister and this government are not trying to reconcile the two, something that the previous government attempted to do. This minister has created a situation in which he is still on training wheels when it comes to dealing with the people of Gungahlin, of consulting with the people of Gungahlin, and in the process the people of Gungahlin are paying a price. I commend the motion to the house as a simple, straightforward way of dealing with the needs of the people of Gungahlin.

MRS BURKE (7.45): I seem to remember Mr Corbell once being a champion of Gungahlin-nay, perhaps I should say that he was the champion of Gungahlin-but it would seem that that is no longer the case, which does disappoint me rather. Two things happened; he moved away from the area and he got into government. In his elevated position, on which I do sincerely congratulate him, obviously, he has, sadly, forgotten the people of Gungahlin; the past truly is another country.

Minister, doesn't it trouble you that the people of Gungahlin feel not only let down, but also betrayed, even hoodwinked perhaps? I know that it would trouble me and I am sure that it must be bothering you. They actually believed in the slogan of planning for the people. I must say that I for one, during the election campaign and on hearing you talk, truly believed that this was Labor's serious and sincere intention. How wrong or perhaps naive was I and how wrong were other people?

I am wondering why the barrow that was pushed so hard by Labor before the last election in relation to neighbourhood planning does not seem to apply now to Gungahlin. How come? People actually believed in the virtues of public consultation, one which was rammed down the former Liberal government's throat hard and often. Even the Gungahlin Equality Party, whose members, I note, are sitting in the public arena and whose presence I welcome, which was once cosying up to the ALP, now describes the consultation process as nothing more than an elaborate and expensive pretending sham.

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