Page 1591 - Week 05 - Thursday, 8 May 2008

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know what plans you have got. Do you even have some form of operational management relationship with the New South Wales authorities to ensure that the western, south-western and north-western approaches to the ACT through Brindabella Park and the Namadgi national park are jointly strategised by both authorities? I do not think you do. If you do, it is the world’s best kept secret.

Mrs Dunne made a couple of very good points as to why this government, this committee and this committee chair had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to table this report today. That is because this government is mean spirited. It came to power promising to be more open and more accountable and that the community would have nothing to fear from majority government. Well, as Mrs Dunne quite rightly pointed out, with majority government this government has shut down so many avenues of governance.

Their failure to table this plan until Mrs Dunne put the matter on the notice paper today very much reflects the ethos of this government: you do not table anything and you do not carry out prior consultation until you are overwhelmingly pushed by community concern. Clearly, they know that Mrs Dunne, if she needed to, could perhaps mobilise community support to press for this very important plan to be tabled.

These things should be transparent and publicised. The community has the right to know that valuable assets such as Namadgi national park are going to be well managed. Maybe now they have got a chance, but only through the good work of Mrs Dunne. Mr Speaker, in case the tabling was a mirage I hereby commend Mrs Dunne’s motion and hope that we will see more transparency in the future.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.50): Mr Speaker, can I commend Mr Gentleman on his approach?

Mr Pratt: Can I commend Mr Gentleman for back flipping?

MR CORBELL: Of course, this is the great irony in this place, Mr Speaker. When the government does something that the opposition do not like, we are criticised for it and when we do something that they do want, we are still criticised for it. This is a carping, negative opposition. They have nothing to say about anyone or anything, except themselves. They should have the good grace to acknowledge that what Mr Gentleman has done today is exactly what they wanted him to do. They should have the good grace to acknowledge that. They have no such grace. Instead, they cannot resist continuing to carp and whine and complain and be negative, rather than accept the reasons for the decisions that have been taken, as Mr Gentleman outlined, and his willingness to make the report public.

As I understand it—and I stand to be corrected—the inquiry by the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment is into the consultation process itself. It is not actually into the draft plan of management. Of course, this is a point which is conveniently omitted by those opposite. It is not an inquiry into the report itself. I understand the report is yet to be submitted to the committee.

Mr Gentleman: We have the plan.

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