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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5091 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

saying that fire authorities should do this work and then you come back to Mr Macdonald, who says, "This is the responsibility of land managers."

Mr Smyth: No, targets are set by fire authorities. Where are your targets?

MR WOOD: No, it is really clear. We have a system where land managers are responsible. It is the case-and I think I had better explain this to you-that land managers have called on fire authorities-witness Oakey Hill-to expand on their knowledge of things and to give further advice. I think I launched this revised document in September last year. I might say that since the fires we have added an addendum to it. We have updated it. I think that by now, following the annual reports hearing, Mr Pratt would have got the detail of all those areas in Canberra that the land managers have determined are of very, very high risk. These are expert people, skilled people, and very competent land managers. If you look at that list, I would be very surprised if you could find anything you would question about it.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, have you abdicated governmental responsibility to land managers to determine priorities? Why have you not taken action already, with the fire season upon us now, in this regard?

MR WOOD: You put in these words like "abdicate". What a lot of nonsense. Basically, your supplementary question does no more than repeat your question. You have had your answer.

ACTPLA document

MRS DUNNE: My question is the Minister for Planning, Mr Corbell. Minister, at an Inner South neighbourhood planning meeting on 4 December, a member of the public attempted to circulate copies of an article from the Canberra Times of 29 November dealing with issues raised by a retired NCDC planner, Mr Phil O'Brien.

The person at the meeting was told by ACTPLA staff that Phil O'Brien was wrong and that he and those who distributed the article would be embarrassed if they circulated it; that the person circulating the article should instead read a letter-with your letterhead on it-which she was then handed, purporting to respond to the claims in the article; that if she proceeded to circulate the material she would be prosecuted; that she should sit down and cease distributing copies of the article, while ACTPLA staff instead circulated your response; and that Phil O'Brien was-forgive the unparliamentary language-just a "shit stirrer".

Minister, do you think it appropriate that members of the public should be browbeaten and slandered in this manner for having the temerity to disagree with your views in the course of the process of public consultation?

MR CORBELL: I am not aware that any of the language or words used by Mrs Dunne were used, and I am interested in how Mrs Dunne could substantiate her claim. However, I have every confidence, first of all, that the neighbourhood planning team conducts itself with members of the public in a professional and polite manner at all times, and I have absolute confidence that they often do so in circumstances that can be both difficult and contentious when talking about planning issues in the local area.

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