Page 1710 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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United States’s leading urban land development body, to look at examples of best practice residential development in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, I will be looking at practices to do with how their garden city suburbs have managed change. It is important to remember that Canberra’s garden city suburbs are probably the pre-eminent example in the southern hemisphere of that type of planning. However, in the northern hemisphere, the home of the garden city suburbs is indeed the United Kingdom, where a number of garden city suburbs—townships, actually—are facing significant redevelopment pressure. So I will be visiting those precincts to learn from their experiences of how they have managed change as they face redevelopment.

I find it surprising that the opposition criticises a minister for being prepared to look outside the ACT. Indeed, if Mr Mulcahy is going to apply this sort of rigour, maybe he ought to apply it to his colleague Mrs Dunne, who on not one but now two occasions has chosen, I understand, to visit a major international conference in—

Mr Mulcahy: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: my question related to a series of matters regarding the minister’s planned trip, and I did ask about costings and the people attending. I know he can answer as he sees fit, but I was not actually inquiring about the travel of any other minister or of Mrs Dunne or of any other member of the Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Contrasting one side with the other has always been seen as reasonable in question time.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I know Mr Mulcahy is defensive about it, but the reality is that all sides of this place from time to time undertake overseas travel for a range of reasons, and usually for very legitimate reasons about broadening members’ understanding of international trends and developments in areas of interest to them so that they can apply that to policy areas back here in the ACT. My proposal is no different from that. If Mr Mulcahy is seriously criticising that, perhaps he should take the issue up equally with his colleague Mrs Dunne, who has, of course, on at least one occasion, and I think two, undertaken, or is planning to undertake, visits to a major public transport conference in Europe, for exactly the same reason—to learn about international developments in areas of her policy interest. It is exactly the same approach with me, and I think it will be very beneficial to inform future planning policy here in the ACT.

MR MULCAHY: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I am interested to know which officials will be accompanying the minister and what the cost will be to the ACT taxpayers of this excursion.

MR CORBELL: A number of officials from the Planning and Land Authority will accompany me, as well as a representative of my office. The full costs of the trip are yet to be finalised but will be reported in the normal way, as with all other ministerial travel in this place.

Disability services

DR FOSKEY: My question is directed to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services and relates to the unmet need for disability support services.

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