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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1497 ..

the proposed development. However, these objections can be raised under existing planning laws. If there is any specific reason why the proposed location is unacceptable, then that application should obviously be refused.

It is for ActewAGL, however, to decide on its proposal and it is for the authorities here to assess the proposal under the laws passed by the Assembly. For that reason, whilst the minister’s amendment is a little bit of a pat on the back and carries a commendation and so forth, I do believe that the sentiment is appropriate. I do not concur with Dr Foskey’s motion and I do not think that the opposition amendment is appropriate under the planning regime because there may be a media opportunity in taking that position.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.27): The genesis of all of this problem is the failings of the government. For seven years the government have not carried out a promise they made before the 2001 election, which was to consult the public and have a referendum to put into the territory plan protection for what the public consider to be their open space.

Mr Corbell had a solution, which he failed to carry through. Mr Corbell is at fault for not doing that. Unfortunately for Mr Barr, Mr Barr yet again is cleaning up the mess of the former planning minister. But that being said, Mr Barr is now the planning minister. It was curious to note in his early comments that ACTPLA is somehow detached from this. ACTPLA certainly may be detached from it, but it does have a role to play.

More important—and he is not the minister responsible, and the Chief Minister is not here—is the role of the LDA in selecting suitable sites for suitable projects in the ACT. So there is no way that the government can distance itself and say, “We are some sort of guardian of the process,” after the event. The government is involved in this process right from the start. We have seen the press releases from the Chief Minister. Perhaps the Chief Minister should be down here telling us the process by which this particular project got to this particular site.

Over the last five years we have seen proposed extensions to Karralika foisted upon the community in Fadden and Macarthur and defeated through a faulty use—they see it as an abuse—of the process. Something was advertised, a significant proposal was advertised, over the Christmas holidays and notification was only sent to seven residents. We saw a briefly waved flag that the prison might go there, but that disappeared.

I have to say that I have been to a number of planning rallies in the ACT. At the Vikings Club at the town centre at Tuggeranong, 1,500 people turned up to a rally. Only 600 or 700 got inside and there were 800 or 900 outside. The people of Macarthur have a right to be upset about the way that this government is going about its business. Then, after that went away, the dragway proposal was dropped.

Yet again, it is a significant facility and, as I said this morning, something that we are entirely supportive of—the concept of data storage and an auxiliary power supply in the ACT—but it is just dropped on this site by the government. The government

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