Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 965 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
compromise and consensus position. The government is very happy to support the motion as Ms Dundas proposes to amend it.
In these debates community is put forward as though it were an amorphous blob that thinks in a uniform manner. Whilst I recognise that there are people in the community who feel very strongly about the need for improved facilities at Kippax-and I acknowledge and understand those concerns-there will inevitably be a diversity of view on how those facilities come about.
The views of those people who are more active may be, but are not automatically, representative of the views of the broader community. In politics we always struggle to understand what the views of the community more broadly are. We have to make judgments about what the view of the majority of the community or a representative group in the community is. That is the challenge at Kippax, as it is in any other planning process.
There is no doubt that being Planning Minister gives you a different perspective on these things. That is part of the process of growing and living in the Legislative Assembly. All members will encounter that at some stage, especially members who are, have been or will become ministers.
The important issue for the government is to ensure that the issues are effectively addressed. The bottom line for the West Belconnen community is that they want to see something happen. They want to see better facilities. They want to see better outcomes that meet their needs. The government, as is its obligation, has done an expert assessment, using people who deal with planning issues and community facility issues to come up with the data that is needed to start to make some decisions. But it is not possible to make those decisions well without the engagement of people who end up using the facilities and the services.
The government will put out its proposal in the coming months. I am very happy to agree to Ms Dundas's amendment asking that I outline the timetable for further planning consultation by 1 April. I think that is a very workable proposition. I am very happy to do that. I would hope that that would give community members some confidence that there is a process that they can be engaged in and can contribute to so that they can see some light at the end of the tunnel. It is important that we try to deliver some light at the end of the tunnel on this issue. That is going to be the approach that I and other ministers with responsibility for this issue adopt.
The government will support the amendments. It will focus very strongly on getting the outcomes that are needed at West Belconnen and not solely on the processes needed to achieve those outcomes.
MRS DUNNE (5.07): I rise to lend the opposition's support, reluctantly, to Ms Dundas's amendments to the motion. I thought the motion as it stood said all that was necessary, but I agree with Ms Dundas that today we need a result for the people of West Belconnen, the people who live around and use the Kippax group centre. Because the result is unclear because of the non-appearance of some members, I reluctantly go along with a consensus view with the government and crossbenchers on what might be a way ahead.