Page 3577 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009

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We all recall the Liberal Party’s attacks on a senior public servant within my own department, a public servant who had the shocking temerity to attempt to facilitate the entry into our economy of an investment worth billions of dollars, in other words, a public servant doing his job.

We all recall the absolutely puerile and personal attacks the Liberals made on the Under Treasurer earlier this year. That is what public servants get for giving a briefing to the Liberal Party. Her reputation is traduced; her words are made the butt of undergraduate humour.

We saw the same treatment of a senior member of the ACT Library Service by Mr Coe in a recent estimates appearance—ridicule and scoffing. We saw it again most recently with the attacks on those public servants appointed by the government to the EPIC board. Not content with criticising the process, those opposite play the man. They suggest that those officials appointed to the EPIC board do not know how to run an events venue.

The same officials who run Canberra Stadium, Manuka oval and Stromlo forest park cannot be trusted to run EPIC. The Liberals accuse those officials of a hostile takeover of EPIC, a hostile takeover of assets which are owned by the people of the ACT. It is hard to grasp the logic of that, Mr Speaker.

No public servant is immune to attack by the Liberal Party. When it comes to school teachers, the Liberals say that investment in education is just throwing good money after bad. That is the commentary by the Liberal Party on teachers within the public school system—good money after bad.

They accuse our doctors and nurses of providing Third World health services. It is an absolute shame. (Time expired.)

ACT Heritage Council—assessments

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for the Arts and Heritage. Minister, how many outstanding nominations does the ACT Heritage Council currently have to assess? How does it prioritise the assessments and what is the average time for processing a heritage nomination?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for her question. Ms Le Couteur, there is a serious issue in relation to the Heritage Council backlog. In 2007-08, the Heritage Council had a backlog of 320 historic places and objects nominated to the register and began then, in the face of that backlog or list of 320, a process or a project to prioritise each of those applications. Having examined the list of nominated places, the council gave priority to the assessment of private properties, to give owners certainty in relation to how they could develop those properties that have been nominated for listing.

During that time, 32 places and objects have been assessed against the heritage significance criteria, as required under the Heritage Act, and presented to the Heritage

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