Page 2446 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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outlined in the tender documentation and, more importantly, in the territory plan variation, which was recently approved by this place for the Stromlo Village.

The specifics of the tender process are confidential to ensure that appropriate probity is maintained throughout the tender process. If Dr Foskey has particular issues of interest, I would be happy, wherever possible, to provide her with a briefing on those issues from officers of the Land Development Agency. But, as I am sure Dr Foskey would appreciate, a range of these issues are currently being addressed through the tender process. That is a confidential process to maintain probity and due process, and I am sure Dr Foskey would appreciate the importance of that whilst the tender process is under way.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question. Since misconceptions in the sustainability study do not appear to have been corrected in the final variation, could the minister please tell me who advises the government on the technical applications for sustainability design for Stromlo? Have any attempts been made to correct these misguiding misconceptions?

MR CORBELL: I am not aware of what misguiding misconceptions Dr Foskey is referring to.


MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you outline for the Assembly how the ACT government will be welcoming the Rahmati family to the ACT? What is the basis on which the government generally supports refugees?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you Mr Gentleman for the question. This is a very pertinent question to be asking today, the day on which a further family of refugees from Nauru arrived in Australia and, indeed, in Canberra to make Canberra their home, at least during the period of their temporary protection visas, which I understand are for three years. So at least they have that degree of certainty—the security of knowing that for the next three years they can live in a civilised way amongst people, amongst friends, and that they will not be required to endure any longer the purgatory that has been imposed on them by the federal government.

This family of five, including three children under the age of 15, have for 3½ years been required to live on a very isolated, quite desolate island in the Pacific as a result of the asylum seeker or refugee policies of the federal government. So it was with great pleasure that I was able to at least acknowledge that this particular family have chosen Canberra as the place to spend the period in which they are allowed to remain in Australia under the insecurity and uncertainty of the visas; certainly for at least the next three years here in Canberra. I think it a great credit to us—something that we should be proud of as a community—that this particular family have chosen us as the people amongst whom to live.

I had looked forward very much to personally welcoming the Rahmati family to Canberra. I had been invited to do so by Marion Le. I had accepted that invitation and I was looking forward with some genuine excitement to the prospect of welcoming to

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