Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1909 ..
acknowledge, from a significant number of Canberrans about the untidy nature of the site and concerns that in their view it no longer represents the struggle for justice or independence. I acknowledge those views and I accept some of them, I have to say.
I am prepared to stand and say that I am one of those who are accepting of the continued occupation of the tent embassy. When I stand on the steps of Old Parliament House and look at the tent embassy, I am not one of those who see it simply as a disorderly camping site with no purpose, effect or intent. I continue to see it as a site of significance and a site of continuing struggle for justice not yet achieved.
I am more than happy to write to Mr Tuckey. I am aware of his comments. There are many views that Mr Tuckey expresses with which I do not agree. I do not agree with his attitude to the tent embassy. I think it is insensitive. I would, however, hasten to add that I believe the processes that ATSIC has put in place to find a future for the tent embassy need to be progressed and we need to come to some resolution.
The indigenous community needs to come to some resolution of what they perceive the future of the site to be and how they would wish to see it maintained and managed. I am supportive of that process. I believe this is an issue that indigenous people must have responsibility and control over. That is the submission that the ACT government put to the ATSIC review of the tent embassy, and it is a position I maintain.
I am concerned that Mr Tuckey seems to feel the inclination to involve himself in the decision-making process, and I would urge him to leave the decision and the management of the site to indigenous people. I will write to him, Ms Tucker, in the terms you outlined in the question.
MS TUCKER: Thank you for that answer. The fundamental thrust of my question is the security of the people who are there. My supplementary question is: will you ensure that they are protected?
MR STANHOPE: I confess I have not had a briefing on the security and safety of the embassy. I am aware, following the arson attack visited on the tent embassy site, that there are quite obviously issues of security and safety. I will seek today a full briefing from the Australian Federal Police on the safety and security of the tent embassy, and I will be more than happy to report back to you on that.
MR CORNWELL: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Wood. I refer to a report in the Canberra Times of 16 June which stated that the board of Totalcare has decided to dispose of its road maintenance business. The Times report said that the board had made this decision because "roads had become a declining business because of increased competition and reduced spending by its major client, the ACT Department of Urban Services".
Minister, why have you decided to cut funding for road maintenance in the ACT, and what impact would this have on the quality of our roads network-for that matter, of course, the safety of Canberrans?