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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2752 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

entertaining sort of person that I had to respond to him. Maybe I was a bit weak; sorry about that, troops.

Mr Speaker, I have to say that I will not support a member of a committee saying, "I did not get my own way because the government did not do what my committee said, so I will move a disallowance motion."I just cannot do that. I think that the government has provided a compromise sufficient to warrant its going forward and I agree absolutely with the minister when he says that either we can go back to the past or we can go forward.

One of the things about draft variation 200 that we were all agreed on was that possibly it was a little complex, possibly there was a little bit too much in it for one draft variation. I support that view. Splitting it up might be the go. The minister and the government have compromised enough: let us move forward. It will not be the end of the world. The wheels are not going to fall off the trolley on Thursday. The world is not going to end at half past four on Friday afternoon.

If it does not work, there is an Assembly in place to fix it. An election will be coming up in October of next year. I look forward to that because I just love seeing you blokes being flogged to death and I propose to be around to watch that happen. Mr Speaker, I will be supporting Mr Corbell with every ounce of strength I have.

MS DUNDAS (11.52): Before I move on to the greater discussion of variation 200, I would like to express my disappointment at the tone that this debate has taken. We are discussing planning issues. We are discussing specifically variation 200. I do not think that we need to be discussing the personal work habits of members of this Assembly and questioning the ways that people have reached their decisions. We all have a very important role to play in this Assembly and we all go about the job slightly differently. There is no need to degenerate to personal attacks in the way that we operate. I am, as I say, disappointed that we have gone that way.

That being said, the ACT Democrats will be supporting the motion to disallow variation 200 to the Territory Plan. This variation has been the subject of an exhaustive public consultation process and an extremely long inquiry by the Planning and Environment Committee and that committee concluded that the variation should not proceed.

I believe that, if the Assembly allows this variation, the new planning rules dictated by it will be in force for the foreseeable future. It appears unlikely that the present government will revisit these changes in any meaningful way while it retains office, despite the words of Mr Hargreaves. I believe that we will not get a second chance to get our planning rules right for a very long time. That does not mean that I think that the old planning rules are the best. I think we can safely assume that the majority of this Assembly has problems with the way current planning laws in the ACT operate, but I do not believe that draft variation 200 offered the best solutions.

Mr Corbell spoke about the discussions that were had after the committee report was tabled. I believe that I did offer a solution, which I then put out publicly after I had discussions with Minister Corbell, in requesting that we retain draft variation 200 as an interim measure while we work on a better solution.

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