Page 1750 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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How are we going to ensure that there is broad community access to any of the revitalised areas? Really, there are a number of questions that we should be asking before we decide to put ourselves behind Snow or put ourselves behind Corbell, if that is the way the debate is going to be framed, although I do not want it to be framed in that way.

The motion is unnecessary in the context of the debate that is occurring on planning issues. It is useful in muddying the waters with a bit of stirring, but that is not the way to advance the development of good policy. I also believe it is not good use of the Assembly’s time, because the future of the city seems to become yet another pawn in a trend which I am seeing developing in this Assembly where the Liberals pit the federal government, which is of its own political flavour, against the territory government, which is of a Labor Party flavour. And the Labor Party does the same. What we are doing is seeing state/federal politics played out as party politics, and it is not helpful.

I rest my case, Mr Speaker. I expect we will be talking about this again. I would certainly be happy to contribute to any future debate and do anything that is likely to stop it becoming yet another pawn in party politics, which will not be for the benefit of the future and the revitalisation of Civic or any of the other town centres.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.29): I will not take too much of the Assembly’s time. I think this motion was all about an attack on Mr Corbell really, and some of the other issues seem to be tangential to that.

I happen to be one of those philistines, Dr Foskey, who think we ought to do up Civic and that we do need a city centre. I am a representative of a political party and I am involved in party politics.

I have to say that I received a presentation on the living city plan designed by Colin Stewart, backed by Terry Snow, and I was very impressed by it—not besotted by it but quite impressed by the plan, by its boldness. It does have, as Mr Corbell has rightly pointed out, some elements, which I am yet to find so far, that would turn me off it—the creation of a large island in the midst of London Circuit, divided from the rest of the city. That proposition does need thorough examination.

I can also say to this Assembly that I have been equally impressed with the depth of analysis that has gone into the presentations that we have received from the ACT Planning and Land Authority. And certainly the work that ACTPLA has done has taken into account some of the planning concepts and needs against which the Colin Stewart design needs to be tested before we all embrace it straight away.

I think that I should not, in this place, divulge to any degree cabinet proceedings, but I can assure members of this Assembly that cabinet—in this case led by Simon Corbell—is taking a balanced view of the planning options available for the development of Civic, as it should. A hallmark of the previous government that we had here, before they stopped doing anything, was just pure ad hocery: good idea, oh yeah. And most of that failed. Tell us what plans, what achievements, there are in Civic that are a testament to the previous government. Tell us what they did. They were not here.

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