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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 342 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

This process has taken some time. It stated in 1999 and it is now 2003, but this is good legislation. I am concerned that we will not finish considering it today. It is now getting late in the afternoon, and the matter was set down towards the end of executive business for today. I appreciate that it is difficult in this small Assembly for people like Ms Tucker who have to cover a whole range of areas, but the government did get its response to us on Tuesday. It is important legislation, and the opposition regrets that we will not finish it today. However, the Attorney has undertaken that we will finish it on Tuesday week when we resume. I hope that nothing further delays it then.

The opposition is quite happy to support this legislation. It will prove to be a very significant tool in the fight against crime.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Gungahlin Town Centre

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move a motion concerning the Gungahlin Town Centre.

Leave not granted.

Suspension of standing and temporary orders

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (4.44): Mr Speaker, I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent Mr Smyth moving a motion concerning the Gungahlin Town Centre.

This is a very serious and urgent matter that has to be resolved today, as by the next sitting certain actions may already have been undertaken that would negate the will of the Assembly. The Assembly yesterday called on the Minister for Planning to immediately recommence consultation with the Gungahlin community. In answer to a question today, the minister said, "I can confirm that the government will be pushing ahead with the release of these sites. We will not be letting the proposal put forward by Mrs Cross and others delay services. I anticipate that the final decision and announcements in relation to the tender will be made in the next two to three weeks."

As you can see, Mr Speaker, from the words that the minister has so arrogantly used today here in the Assembly, he takes no notice of what the Assembly asks him to do. There is a very important principle: we are all elected as representatives of the community, and when we pass a motion here it is passed as the will of the community. It is arrogant of the minister to say, "I do not care". That is the important issue we must discuss.

I would like the opportunity to move a motion that directs the minister to adhere to the terms and conditions of yesterday's motion, simply because ministers need to have respect for this place. Ministers need to listen to their community. Tabled yesterday was a petition with 11,031 signatures from the community saying, "We are being ignored. We need to be listened to. We want to be listened to. We want to be included in the process."The minister might not like that.

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