Page 2283 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008
Clearly there was a story in the Canberra Times of 20 December 2007 which did quite specifically talk about the intention to locate this project quite close to Macarthur. That was about the only one. Perhaps there was a bald hint in one of the other eight known notifications that this project was intended to be located much closer to Tuggeranong residents than what was generally thought. The other notifications, including the ACTPLA notification dated early April, still referred to a project to be located “in Hume”.
Is it any wonder that people then turned up on 28 April to the community meeting and were quite surprised? Many of those people—in fact, the vast majority of those people—for the very first time realised the actual site of the project, the actual size of the project, the actual output of the intended power station, both in terms of its 210-megawatt generation and the actual output of the nitrous oxide emissions. It was only then, as we have now heard a thousand times in this place—and the opposition will not stop banging this drum—after months and months of consideration, planning by the government, its agencies and its associates, did the community begin to get an idea of what was in store.
You have, therefore, got to question—and perhaps it is correct in terms of what the minister states are the limitations on the planning processes—whether ACTPLA, I suppose strictly by the book, might not have done much more. But you just wonder why ministers did not have a look at that, given that this was a $2,000 million project, with such large implications. Perhaps they could have exercised a damn sight more leadership—I am talking both in terms of the minister and then, of course, the head of ACTPLA—and said, “This is a bit odd. Perhaps we should really go and have a talk to the community well in advance of when the normal processes will start.” We do have flexibility in government to make those sorts of decisions, if necessary. There we go.
I do congratulate the Greens for the strong position that they have taken on this. I do also then express my disappointment at Mr Mulcahy’s position on this. Let the record show that Mr Mulcahy, again in his speech today, seems to straddle the fence. He is having a bob each way; he does not seem to know what to do. The residents of southern Woden ought to take a note of that. They should take note of that. I might return to that later.
At 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put and negatived.
Sitting suspended from 6.00 to 7.30 pm.
MR PRATT: Before the dinner break I was talking about Mr Mulcahy’s contribution to this debate on the power station, as an element of ACTPLA dropping the ball. Mr Mulcahy’s position was very disappointing. I thought he had some brains, but clearly he is sitting on his brains. There he is, thrashing around, siding only with business, siding with Labor, patronising Labor, and putting them before the community. He does not particularly give a damn even about his own community. He does not really care about the government’s failed planning processes at all. All he