Page 43 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2006

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MR CORBELL: The contract specified that the payment needed to be made by 30 January. However, the contract also specified that there were a further seven days permitted under the contract for completion of payment. The payment occurred on 3 February and was consistent with the terms and conditions of the sale contract.

Yarralumla brickworks

MR PRATT: My question is to the urban services minister, Mr Hargreaves. Since 23 September 2002, residents adjoining the old Yarralumla brickworks have made representations, through ACT Strata Management Services, on no less than four separate occasions, to your government, complaining about overgrown grass and shrubs that pose a serious fire risk. A letter dated 17 November 2005 sent to Urban Services again noted the fire hazards and requested that action be taken.

Unfortunately it appears that residents’ complaints were never thoroughly actioned, resulting in the loss of property that we saw in December last year in the Yarralumla brickworks fire. Why, after more than three years of correspondence with your government, was sufficient action on behalf of Yarralumla residents not taken to reduce these fire hazards?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt is very, very good at trawling through other people’s garbage bins, trying to find some negative story and put fear into the people in the community. I do not accept that this government has been particularly tardy in its approach to the brickworks. We know that the brickworks area is, in fact, a peppercorn lease arrangement. The brickworks is not a government instrumentality. Mr Pratt fails to tell us this. Mr Pratt also fails to advise the Assembly that, only a very short period of time prior to the fire, the area behind the fences was mowed to the 20 metres in the specifications. Mr Pratt also fails to tell people about the fires in that particular area.

Mr Pratt: You didn’t do the rest of the job, though, did you?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt, you don’t know good manners from clay. Why don’t you grow up.

Mr Pratt does not also say that those premises that did not have brush fences did not suffer significant damage. He does not tell the Assembly the whole story. This is so typical of Mr Pratt. What he does not also advise the Assembly is that the brickworks area, under the leasing arrangement, requires certain clearance to be made. He does not also tell you what was in the ground area. There was rubble, which made it impossible to cut and slash in there. He does not tell you any of that.

All Mr Pratt is capable of doing, as he has in fact done with policing numbers before, as in fact he did with Urban Services complaints only recently, is trot through the garbage bins of history, trying to find a negative little piece of work. He then pops that up and portrays it in order to do the John Howard method of re-election: let’s frighten them; let’s put the fear up them; then they will re-elect us. He is a fear merchant; he is an absolute screaming fear merchant.

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