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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1494 ..

Mr Barr: It was on the front page of the paper and in the—

MR PRATT: The odd story in the newspaper about a data facility at Hume or in the Tuggeranong area is not specific enough. Why were not the residents of Macarthur, Fadden, Gowrie, Isaacs, O’Malley and Farrer letterbox-dropped? They should have been told, “Your suburbs are in close proximity to a proposed project of this size. You need to have a look at this. We would like to talk to you about it. How do you feel? Do you have a problem?” That did not occur.

At the community meeting Monday last, if you had listened to the 330-odd people there speaking, the great majority knew very little about this. That indicates to me, to Mr Smyth and to people on this side of the chamber that there has been no adequate prior consultation and education about this particular project.

By the way, I have to applaud the residents of Macarthur who have got together at the 11th hour and campaigned to do something about this. I particularly take my hat off to Rodahn Gibbon, who spoke in a very clear and a very, very measured way last Saturday morning at Chisholm. I support him, and I support them in their campaign. I have said to those people that I will stand in this damn place and fight to the last fingernail to not allow this project to be built in the backyard of Macarthur and that it be re-sited. If you cannot re-site this, Mr Barr, then your whole planning process stinks. This is a damned and push-through process. This is unacceptable.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (12.18): I find myself agreeing with the minister in relation to adherence to the process here, but I also am conscious—

Mr Pratt: The residents are going to love that.

MR MULCAHY: If you will let me finish, Mr Pratt, before you chip in, you might learn something. I also believe, without anticipating the debate, that there is some semblance of sense in Mr Smyth’s bill that he introduced earlier today, which obviously I have not studied in detail, but I did hear his introductory speech and that makes an enormous amount of sense as a way forward. Mr Pratt’s amendment seems a little strange in that it is asking us to support the bill which we are not actually yet voting on. So it is a badly worded amendment.

Mr Pratt: That is your flawed opinion, as usual.

MR MULCAHY: It is not just my view. In fact, if you read it, it does not make grammatical sense. But let us not dwell on that.

I am happy to see the Assembly discussing a motion about the development of infrastructure in the ACT and the concerns of ACT residents. These are clearly important issues, especially in light of the growing importance of infrastructure issues as this city expands in size. The residents of Macarthur and other nearby residents who have expressed apprehension at this proposed development have valid concerns on this issue, and their concerns should be taken seriously by the government.

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