Page 2568 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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did not promise to provide it, it promised to seek to ensure it was provided. I guess it is all in the fine print with Mr Corbell. We certainly saw that in question time today in answer to Mrs Burke.

One of the other major broken promises of the 2004 election was in relation to the development of core area development guidelines. Prior to the election in September 2004 Mr Corbell was championing himself as responsive, listening to the people and hearing their concerns. He stated in a press release that he was to amend the A10 core areas for the inner north and inner south garden city suburbs—and I note that he has been overseas looking at garden city suburbs—but in September 2004 he also said he had directed ACTPLA to prepare design guidelines to protect the suburbs and ensure that development was complementary and sympathetic to their character.

In November 2004 Mr Corbell responded to a constituent who had written to him to ask about the guidelines. The response was that he had directed that preparation of the guidelines be given priority. According to the Oxford Australian Dictionary, “priority” means “precedence in rank”; it suggests that it would be done soon or as a matter of importance. Now we discover how much priority Mr Corbell gives to promises he makes prior to elections. In answer to a question on notice he states that, “No money has been provided in previous budgets or in this budget for the preparation of the guidelines; no work has been done on them yet; none will be done until funding is provided.” When asked in the chamber last week, the best he could come up with was, “Within the term of this government.” I guess we could be waiting another three years for that promise to be fulfilled.

Perhaps Mr Corbell and his colleagues could publish a list before elections of which promises are priorities and will be funded, which ones are priorities but will not be given any funding, and which ones will not get done at all. We have seen Mr Hargreaves’s answer to a question in relation to broken promises. He has promised that, next time, he will say, “All our promises are subject to us changing our mind at the next budget.” I do not know if the other ministers took note of that. They might want to talk to Mr Hargreaves because it seems he has locked them into an interesting way of announcing election promises next time.

In relation to the City Hill feasibility study, we have seen a feasibility study on the Constitution Avenue extensions, which are part of the suggested changes to the City Hill area which Mr Corbell has assisted ACTPLA with developing. This was all fine for Mr Corbell when he released his plan and was so quick to dismiss views alternative to his own. We know that, in relation to City Hill, Mr Corbell did a rush job and we know that cabinet did not like the proposal; we know that he dismissed alternative plans but then he sort of had to back down. I have welcomed that. I note, though, that Mr Corbell said on Stateline that the only reason people seem to prefer other plans to his own is that one has pretty pictures. I would suggest to Mr Corbell that people like the alternative plans because they have been thought through and not just rushed out to avoid being shown up by someone else. There is $500,000 that appears now to pre-empt some of the work of the central Canberra taskforce.

Referring to section 84, concerns have been raised during recent times about the growth in size and value of the section 84 development adjoining the Canberra Centre and originally proposed in 2001. This has also been highlighted in the dissenting report.

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