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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1503 ..

For those who are interested in genuine consultation and debate and listening to all sides of that debate, then that is what this process is about. That is why we have had the opportunity for public comment. That is why the planning authority has given an initial response to the issues that were raised. That is why this matter has been referred to the Assembly’s planning and environment committee. That is why I am meeting with residents and with the Weston Creek Community Council this evening. That is why I am going out on site next week.

I need to stress again that no final decisions have been made. It is also worth noting, as I have indicated in this place on at least half a dozen occasions before, that this is a parallel process that we are also running with the National Capital Authority in relation to the variation. It has to go through both planning processes. So there is plenty of opportunity for people to comment.

It needs to be said that in striking a balance between buffer zones and open space and affordable housing it will not be possible—it will simply not be possible—to please absolutely everyone. No consultation process, no matter how long and no matter how exhaustive, will be able to see 100 per cent agreement reached on every issue.

I am confident, most particularly having seen some of the details of the proposals that the Weston Creek Community Council have put forward, that there is considerable room for dialogue and considerable room for agreement to be reached, at least between the community council representatives and the government, on many of these issues. I look forward to my meeting later this evening with the council.

Distinguished visitors

MR SPEAKER: I welcome to the Assembly the Right Honourable the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the house leader, house whip, directors of various projects and members of the federal House of Representatives and the Assembly of Rivers State, Nigeria.

Questions without notice

Economy—growth forecast

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in the Assembly on 8 April this year, you said:

There is a moderation in and a softening of activity within the territory.

Treasurer, in the budget that you introduced yesterday, you forecast an increase in gross state product during 2008-09 of 2½ per cent after growth of five per cent in 2006-07. Treasurer, on what basis can you describe a 50 per cent reduction in your growth forecast as a moderation in economic activity?

MR STANHOPE: I can describe it as a moderation because it is moderated. It has gone from a higher point to a lower point. It is a moderation.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

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