Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3288 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
I asked a question about foster carers not being able to get even the normal increase in CPI for the work they do. I have asked questions about mental health and today I asked about affordable housing.
I believe you have to take some responsibility when calling for public funds to be used for particular services or activities. From the Greens' perspective, I will be calling on governments to put more money into essential social services. However, I could not, in good conscience, at the same time demand millions of dollars for a motor sport facility. I do not think that would be responsible.
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (4.37): I have a few matters to clarify. I note that Mr Quinlan interjected on Mrs Burke about whether or not a commitment was made in the lead-up to the 2001 election. If that was not the case, there are many people out there who certainly think it was-who obviously got whatever the government was saying to them wrong-because a large number of people believed the commitment was made. I will go back to the sources who told me that, to find out what was said to them.
I notice Mr Corbell regresses to the old retort: "Well, you shut it down."I am reminded that Mr Corbell said words to the effect of-I do not have the quote with me-"If I were the planning minister, I would give them a lease."
I remember that, when government changed, and we asked Mr Corbell last year when he was going to give them a lease, he backed away from it at a rate of knots that you would not believe. He knows that, having been through the government solicitor and then through the Federal and Supreme Courts, the government of the time was not able to give a commitment to something over which we had no control. The cheap politics of Mr Corbell over the dragway in the lead-up to the election disappeared as soon as he became a minister, because he knew-right from the start-it was impossible for the government to grant a lease on land over which it had no control.
That brings us to the meeting in Tuggeranong some months ago, where the government announced that it was against a dragway site in Macarthur. Mr Hargreaves, on behalf of the government, announced to the 497 Tuggeranong residents who were in the room at the time that the government was negotiating with the leaseholders over the blocks in question.
The blocks-Mr Stefaniak was there-named were 51 and 52 of Majura. At the August meeting of the Tuggeranong Community Council, I asked whether Mr Hargreaves could clarify what he was talking about. Everybody at the meeting in August-those who had been at the meeting in July-had heard Mr Hargreaves say that the government was negotiating to buy those blocks. Those residents also want to know what the government was talking about. If you ring the current lessees of blocks 51 or 52 Majura-I took it a little further afield-and even with block 611, nothing had been heard from the government. There were no negotiations for the purchase of the blocks.
Mr Hargreaves has wandered in. Perhaps he will get up and tell us what blocks the government was negotiating for. What he clearly told that meeting, and what everybody clearly heard, was that they were negotiating for those blocks. We now know that they were not, because we rang them to find out if they were.