Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2124 ..
size criteria for a solar farm, is part of the land which is now subject to a variation of the territory plan in relation to the Molonglo redevelopment and a variation to the national capital plan. We have got a west-facing, very hilly, very rugged piece of land which the territory is proposing to redevelop as part of the Molonglo housing development. The Chief Minister’s Department has selected a block of land inside the variation to be a solar farm.
It seems that, again, Chief Minister’s is going off on its own fantasy. I wonder why Chief Minister’s is doing site selection or site identification, whatever you want to call it, even preliminary site identification, when we have a planning authority and a land development agency whose task that is. I think that we run the risk of here again having a botched process because the people are unskilled in identifying sites, are not planners, are not across these issues and are going along saying, “The consultants said we needed a big block. Where is a big block?” Did they play pin the tail on the donkey? Did they get a collection of big blocks and put the block and section numbers in a hat and draw them out? I do not know, but one of the ones they have pulled out clearly falls within the draft variation to the territory plan for the Molonglo development.
I want to know how the project facilitation organisation in the Chief Minister’s Department is ever going to facilitate a solar farm, something that the people in the ACT want to see. They want to see solar development in the ACT. When you talk to the people about the gas-fired power station at Tuggeranong, people often ask why did not we think of solar before we thought of gas. There are reasons why we thought of gas instead of solar for that. There is a place for all of these technologies.
But we have botched one facility already. We have had the on again, off again, will we be having a gas-fired facility in relation to Belconnen. Now, with our solar farm, I have been told that there are eight blocks. Actually, Mr Barr, on behalf of Mr Corbell, on behalf of the Chief Minister, signed off on this. What we know is that, as a result of this, one of the sites that Chief Minister’s is looking at actually comes within the area of a draft variation for a major housing and town centre development. I wonder what Chief Minister’s is doing. It is about time the Chief Minister took an interest in what his project facilitation organisation is doing.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (7.48): I will confine my comments to the industrial relations portfolio but, having heard prior to the dinner break Mr Stefaniak seemingly indicate the death of Work Choices, whilst there was no-one more pleased to hear that than me, I am afraid that Mr Stefaniak has perhaps misunderstood the nature of how that Work Choices legislation can be unravelled.
He referred to the appropriation for the Family and Community Day. There will be at least two more years of that day, in 2008 and 2009. As I explained to him when he asked me the question in estimates, the federal government’s legislation program to overturn Work Choices will require passage of legislation through the House of Representatives and the Senate. Whilst a transition bill has succeeded through the Senate in spite of the coalition majority in the Senate—that, fortunately, has ended—the legislation that will unravel Work Choices finally and put it into the dustbin of IR