Page 2938 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 6 August 2008

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You have a major multinational company coming to this town seeking to make a major billion dollar investment in the economic base of this town, and the Liberal Party has done everything in its power to ensure that this project does not succeed, and that the independent statutory nature of our planning processes be suborned by political interference and political direction.

Today is a classic example of why politicians should not intervene or interfere in statutory planning processes. Today is a perfect example and proof positive of the strength of the planning regime that applies in the territory. What has happened today is absolutely consistent with everything that I and my ministers have said was a potential outcome of this process.

A process is in place. It has been running for a number of months. The statutory planner—independently, at arm’s length from the government, without recommendation or interference from the government—has arrived at a position in his consideration at the preliminary assessment stage which raises a number of questions not appropriately dealt with in the application made by the proponents for this major development.

Today we see—and we saw it again in this response from them—the Liberal Party not prepared to accept the integrity of the planning process. We see their willingness, in government—were they ever to be elected—to interfere, to intervene, to corrupt the planning processes by political direction and interference. We saw it this morning too with their amazing backflip in relation to the emergency services fire levy. Their lack of capacity—

MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter, please.

MR STANHOPE: It is the same issue.

MR SPEAKER: No, it is not.

MR STANHOPE: It is a lack of capacity, a lack of integrity and a lack of either political or moral strength to make the decisions that good, open, transparent government demands.

Mr Pratt: You led TRE up the garden path. You and your Labor mates and Actew—you led them up the garden path. Bloody incompetence.

MR STANHOPE: Today is a complete vindication of the position that the government has adopted in relation to this process from day one.

Mr Smyth: It’s just another backflip. Another day, another backflip.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth!

MR STANHOPE: There is no backflip here. This is the statutory planning process working precisely as it was intended to work—independent of government, open, transparent and effectively.

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