Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5282 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
In making this commitment to the environment, the Government-and the community-is forgoing considerable revenue through land that will no longer be sold.
That is true. Congratulations! They have put 1,000 hectares back into the reserves, which is a reasonable thing to do, but I would remind them that previous governments shifted an entire town centre to save grasslands and stopped the building of an entire satellite city, Jerrabomberra, because work done at the time of the previous government led to a whole lot of decisions being shelved simply because we knew more about the issues. It is interesting that in the third paragraph on the second page Mr Stanhope says:
We do not produce plans to sit on the shelf and gather dust. We implement them.
I would like him to bring this press release to the attention of the Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, who said that his white paper is nothing more than a reference document. Perhaps somebody should inform Ted that there are expectations that things will be delivered.
The really interesting thing is the last line of the second last paragraph, which talks about where we work. Talking about the region, it says:
A silo mentality is not constructive to solving issues that extend beyond our borders.
I want to say two things on that. The first is that, according to the white paper, our area of influence now stretches from Queanbeyan to Yass. There is no greater Canberra region and there is no capital territory region or capital region that this government seems committed to. It is interesting that we get these varying levels of commitment, depending on which plan you open up.
Perhaps the silo mentality is in relation to all the ministers, who seem unable to work together simply because the white paper stretches from Queanbeyan to Yass, the spatial plan stays inside the border and the Chief Minister now says that we will work with the community and governments at the local and regional level so that we do not have this silo mentality. Chief Minister, perhaps you should start on the second floor of the ACT Assembly, as the greatest silo mentality is apparent inside your government because you guys just do not work together.
The reference to the ACT's water resources strategy is really interesting. It looks at how we will make sure that we have water resources into the future. Perhaps the environment minister should talk to the planning minister because when the opposition was briefed on the spatial plan it was told that it did not depend on water; water was not a consideration in putting together the bits of land for use. If water is that important, Mr Minister for Environment, why doesn't the Minister for Planning see it as important? Maybe it is because of the silo mentality.
We will set some targets that mean something, I am sure, but it is hard to look at this document and see them because we are not getting from this government coordination of the different plans it is putting together, which renders them all absolutely useless because they will be pulling in different directions and in that case will not work.