Page 180 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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the job had been done properly and that what was going to come out of this whole exercise was something that they not only could live with but also could be quite excited about. In fact, ACTPLA had even taken it upon themselves to extend the open space because they identified some significant trees that ought to be protected.

I sound like someone speaking for the government, but I am just speaking here as a citizen who is very concerned that too often when the government says it consults fully what it means is that it has followed the statutory guidelines set down for consultation, and very often that does not satisfy communities. For instance, the third generation Telstra towers followed the statutory guidelines, letters were sent to schools, usually arriving after schools had closed for the year, and by the time people went back and could be informed about it the period for comment had closed. So the statutory guidelines for consultation in ACTPLA were followed but people were not really consulted.

Another issue that came up at the Hackett meeting last night was the dragway. Hackett people are waiting with bated breath to hear how the Chief Minister’s advisory committee has advised the Chief Minister. They have been informed that there will be a full planning process. My concern is that that will, again, just follow the statutory guidelines and in that case it will not be community engagement as such but just a token effort at community consultation. But hats off to ACTPLA for the Hackett neighbourhood planning process and for the way that the urban design guideline was presented to the community last night.

Canberra Capitals

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (6.06): I rise to congratulate one of the best sporting teams in Canberra’s history, and certainly one of the best sporting teams currently in the nation, the Canberra Capitals, and to wish them all the best of luck for the grand final.

A few of us were there to see a fantastic semi-final—the Chief Minister, me, Mr Smyth, a couple of others and Senator Lundy. We saw a rather sore Lauren Jackson, coming back from injury, nevertheless playing her usual dominant role and putting a stamp on the thrilling game to win by five points. Last week, of course, they were in the preliminary final and it was a fantastic come-from-behind effort at 83-81. They now go into the grand final against Dandenong. They would have to be the underdogs but, if they win it, it will be their fourth premiership.

This year has been marked by a really gutsy effort by the team, and you cannot underestimate the effect Carrie Graf has as their coach. She really is quite inspirational. I have seen quite a few coaches and done a bit of coaching in various sports myself, but I love to watch how she operates. She is just so enthusiastic, so intense and so effective, and you see how the players respond to her when she talks to them. So it was a fantastic effort by the coach. Often people forget about the coach when the team is doing well. The coach is the first one to be blamed when the team does not go well, but when the team goes well often the coach does not get the credit where that is due, and Carrie is an excellent coach.

Of course, the game also marks a couple of sad points. It may well be the last game for Lauren Jackson, who is obviously the best female basketball player in the world. We are

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