Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2008) . . Page.. 2820 ..
disinterested that they did not have the courtesy to say thank you or to tell the members of the board what they had planned for the future. The handling of the interim advisory board and the handling of this inquiry by the Labor members on the committee are searing indictments of everything that is wrong with the Stanhope government—that is, their arrogant government, their incapacity to talk to people and their unwillingness to provide documentation to the people who pay their salaries.
It is not some deep secret, but the Stanhope government says, “We cannot show the people in the ACT who are interested in the administration of 48 per cent of the land mass of the ACT. We cannot show them what the government thinks should happen. We don’t trust them enough.” Mr Gentleman has never—he did not here today, and he did not in the debate a few weeks ago—given the justification for why he did not want that draft interim report published. If he chooses to speak in closing this debate, I would welcome it.
The arrogance of Mr Gentleman, the pig-headedness of Mr Gentleman, in refusing to allow the publication of the revised draft management plan still leaves me dumbfounded. It shows a complete lack of regard for the people who pay his salary—the people in Brindabella who pay his salary and who back onto the Namadgi national park. They could not get a look at the draft revised management plan because Mick Gentleman did not want them to. He has never satisfactorily explained that, in the same way as the Stanhope government has never satisfactorily explained why the interim Namadgi advisory board does not meet. It has never satisfactorily explained why the board was not properly remunerated, why the board was not properly resourced and why it has never properly thanked the people of the community who took part in that board. Again, this is about the Stanhope government’s complete failure to communicate with the people of the ACT about important matters—in this case, 48 per cent of the land mass of the ACT.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.14): I will speak briefly about the report which has just dropped into my hands, as is the case with other members, in the interests of not adjourning the debate because of time pressures. I want to reiterate some of the concerns that Mrs Dunne mentioned about governance arrangements and the interim board. It is always of concern when the ACT government, or any government, sets up structures and then does not assist the people that it appoints to those structures. With the functional review, we lost a number of advisory boards, and I think we have seen the consequences of that, particularly in relation to ACTION, whose advisory board, I believe, gave very good advice.
When we appoint people to boards, there are paid members of boards and there are all the community members who do the hard work because they care about something. I am hearing that the costs of being part of that board have not been covered, at least in some cases. It is really concerning and it does point to a kind of tokenism, in that we can say we have appointed the board but we have not necessarily provided the necessary substructures so that people can operate properly as board members.
Namadgi national park is quite a new national park. I think we are still in a settling-down period. Recently, the issue of wild dogs was raised in the Canberra Times. There are always problems, in my experience, coming from east Gippsland, along the edges of national parks where they interface with, in the case of the ACT,