Page 1468 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 7 May 2008

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In 2003 we found ourselves talking about the dragway that was proposed to go on this site. In 2004 there was the whole debacle concerning the Karralika development, which, much to the disgust of the community, involved an attempt to run it over the Christmas holidays when most people were not around and most people were not aware. There were rumours that the prison was to go on this site. There has been difficulty with mobile phone towers in the area. And now we have a $2 billion development put on a site which the community has made well and truly clear is one that it would like to be left as it is.

The opposition support this project. We have been calling for a diversification of the ACT’s economy. This is an ideal project, appropriately sited, to benefit the ACT economy. But the poor processes of the government—I do not blame the proponents; I do not blame ActewAGL for this—in its site selection have caused this mess.

Over the last five years, we have seen the failure of the community and the failure of the business community. Even over the last week there has been talk that the government intends to rezone this whole area as industrial, as it is reasonably close to the Hume industrial zone. There are fears in the community that the place that they purchased into—with the reasons that they purchased in that place—will be ruined for all time.

Let me cast back to the time of Mr Corbell as the planning shadow and a promise that the Labor Party made in the lead-up to the 2001 election. It is on page 4 of Labor’s plan for priorities in planning: “Labor plans to maintain the garden city’. Part of that was to consult with the community about open spaces, about how the community saw that and what they wanted done on it. Then they were to entrench it. I quote: “Following this, an ACT Labor Government will move to have these land use policies entrenched, by referendum, in the Territory Plan.” That has never occurred. Seven years later the open space network in this city is still open to the assaults of this government because it has not kept its promise of the 2001 election. A large number of people in the community remember that promise and still scratch their heads and wonder when it might occur.

But the problems continue. Recently even Mr Barr added to the kerfuffle. He made a commitment that he would extend the consultation period on the PA and the DA—the preliminary assessment and the development assessment. Yet in last Saturday’s paper there was a notice extending the preliminary assessment, again to much consternation in the community. They looked in vain to see the extension of the development application but could not find it. Again they are confused as to why the government says one thing and seemingly does something else. That is the problem for the government and that is the problem for the community.

This problem has been created wholly and solely by the government. Yesterday—Tuesday, 6 May—the paper said “Power plant plan generates Govt deception claims”. When we get to this debate, it will be interesting to see how the government explains the process that it has followed.

Mr Hargreaves regularly attends the meetings of the Tuggeranong Community Council. He knows how his community feels about this; he knows what people

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