Page 2851 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 17 August 2005

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government is already engaging on. For that reason, the government is very happy to support the motion today.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (4.52): Firstly, I would like to respond to something that Mr Corbell said. He said that the government’s plan for City Hill was really the start of the debate. I understand that certainly the living city plan was presented to government before Mr Corbell went out with his own plans. As to who started the debate, I am not sure. I think that claim is slightly dubious.

I would like to say in relation to the motion that this is not all that dissimilar to a motion we put forward in the last sitting week, I believe—or not very long ago—which was amended significantly by the government to give themselves a pat on the back. To that extent, we do not have any major problems with the motion. We think it restates a lot of the discussion we had not very long ago. To that end, it is a bit redundant, but we certainly do not have any significant issues with the content of it.

I think it is important to recognise that the ACTPLA concept and the minister’s appropriation of $6 million for a scheme to extend Constitution and Edinburgh avenues through to Vernon Circle show the minister’s and the government’s commitment to the ACTPLA proposal. I know that the Greens are of the opinion that the ACTPLA proposals are only to stimulate debate and are not a full proposal, but the evidence would appear to contradict these assertions.

I have to make the point that this is a debate that the minister never wanted to have. When Terry Snow came out with his plan, the first thing that the minister did was attack him and say that it was inappropriate for wealthy individuals to be influencing this debate unduly. I do not exactly know what he meant by “unduly influencing the debate”, but certainly Mr Corbell’s colleagues, such as Mr Quinlan and Mr Stanhope, seemed to welcome Mr Snow’s contribution. Mr Corbell has been dragged kicking and screaming to the position that he has come to concerning the task force and a wider debate on this issue, as we called for at the start. We are certainly happy to see the change, but we are watching closely to see whether that change in the minister’s approach is genuine or whether or not he is just paying it lip service.

As I said before, there was some difference of opinion within the government over this issue that was clear when Mr Corbell attacked it and then attacked Mr Snow for bringing forward his proposal. Then we had the Chief Minister launching the living city proposal. Clearly the Chief Minister and his planning minister have gone in different directions on this. As I mentioned before, I think Mr Corbell’s announcement was rushed out.

Dr Foskey made a good point in her discussion about the Canberra plan motion this morning that I think is relevant. Whilst the government has set up a consultative committee, it has given them a short lead time and a role that provides the minister with the ability to say, “We considered the advice of the committee, but we did our own thing anyway.” We are seeing that attitude from the government quite a bit. I am sure that Mr Gentleman would agree with me that, in relation to the Embassy Motel, we have seen that. In fact, the minister is ignoring not only the community but also his own Labor Party colleagues and the recommendations that they have made after some consideration.

Mr Mulcahy: He ignores everybody.

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