Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4020 ..
MR CORBELL: If there are any new developments in the matter, I am happy to keep the Assembly informed.
Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Supplementary answer to question without notice
Australian capital region industry plan
MR QUINLAN: On Tuesday, 21 October, I took a question on notice from Ms Dundas in relation to the Australian capital region industry plan. I have a response which is a couple of pages in length, so I will table it. I present the following paper:
Australian Capital Region Industry Plan-Answer to Question taken on Notice from Ms Dundas on 20 October 2003.
Grant of a further rural lease
Disallowable instrument DI2003-254
MS DUNDAS(3.21): To pick up from where I was before the suspension of the sitting, I understand that there has been no change to the Territory Plan in relation to this matter and that this Assembly has not decided that this land will be developed in the future, so the argument that it needs to be protected for future use is dependent on a decision that has not yet been made. This is a poor planning process.
Mr Corbell: It is called the precautionary principle.
MS DUNDAS: The Assembly should not tolerate this type of backhanded decision making. The proper process should have been followed, which would have included a draft variation, a Planning and Environment Committee inquiry, a final determination and then a change to the leasehold system. I believe that the minister has gone about the process back to front and left out the important public consultation and Assembly approval before changing the rules for rural leases.
The minister has indicated that he is following the precautionary principle. Again, I indicate that he has been doing it in a very haphazard way and a very opportunistic way. If he is serious about the precautionary principle and how it applies to rural leases in the Molonglo Valley, why is he not considering all of the leases in the Molonglo Valley? Why is he not considering all of the rural leases? Why is he doing it bit by bit? Let's look at them all at once.
Another element of this argument is whether this process has resulted in equitable outcomes for our rural lessees. I believe that it has not. The argument this morning went to the complex history concerning these leases and previous arguments that have gone on. I do not want that to be the focus of this debate, but it does give rise to a system where we have this instrument before us which is inequitable, especially given that no change in the land use has been decided. I repeat that it appears to be very opportunistic.