Page 2280 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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ACT. What worth is that? Absolutely nothing, because these people could not depend on the human rights act. You could not show humanity.

I think it has been a disgraceful display of arrogance. You have done wrong by the community and you will pay for it come October. I can tell you now, you have done wrong. In fact, a lot of those people came from Queanbeyan. We are soon to have Frank Pangello standing in the ACT, and he will be well aware, too. To Canberra, Queanbeyan is a small place. You have disaffected so many of your base. You do not know what you have done, but come October you will.

The Farrells would never, ever have stopped trying to find a way with successive governments to come up with security of tenure. In fact, they tried; it is on the record that they tried. When Mr Smyth was minister for housing, he tried to work out a resolution for them. We came to the election and it fell over and it was never picked up again.

So I remind members to be very careful when they say things about people, without knowing the full facts, without knowing the truth. I will leave that there now, but I would urge Mr Barr, when he gets the information I have sent him, to read it, to consider it and, for one moment, put yourself in the place of the Farrells who almost died because of bushfires that they were not warned about in 2003.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, both sides of the chamber! Keep the chat down. I want to hear Mrs Burke.

MRS BURKE: They fought to save the house, the heritage of that area. What thanks did they get? None. They withstood a tornado against the house as well. I can go on. In the 2001 bushfires, they protected the home. I just think you need to have a think about what you have done and what you have said. I hope the heritage assessment goes through. I hope you will, in anything that you do, engage the friends of the caretaker’s cottage. There are a lot of things there that we can use as history; it would be a good tourist attraction. I am offering to work with you. I can give you the information. I am asking you and Mr Hargreaves to engage with these people who want to be involved, to make sure that we can carry on the good work that Peter and Jenni Farrell started all those years ago.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.47): Before I get into some of the other issues that were dealt with at estimates, I neglected to say before—and I certainly put it on the record with TAMS—in terms of ACTPLA staff, I have had a lot of dealings over the past few years with a number of ACTPLA staff and I have found the majority that I have dealt with to be extremely professional. In fact, when I have asked for briefings, they have normally given very detailed briefings on a number of issues, particularly going back to the planning reform legislation which was quite complex, and they took the time to take us through very detailed briefings. I just put that on the record.

I have said before in this place as well, even though we certainly have our differences sometimes with the decisions of ACTPLA and sometimes the performance of ACTPLA, I think Neil Savery has, broadly, done a reasonable job. I think Neil Savery

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