Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 17 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 4206 ..
So if we are going to make these decisions in a political fashion then we should make them disallowable so that democracy has a possibility. I am really quite bemused and surprised that the minister felt this particular project needed to be called in. So far we have had two calls-in—this and the hospital project.
Both of these were large projects. I am not aware of any significant opposition to them, and certainly neither the opposition nor the Greens actually have expressed opposition to the projects per se. Certainly there has been considerable questioning about the amount of money being spent on it, but I have not heard anybody here in the last three days express the view that the Cotter Dam project should not go ahead. So I am really unsure on what grounds the minister felt that it was necessary to actually have a call-in.
Mr Barr: Substantial public benefit.
MS LE COUTEUR: I am wondering what—
Mr Hanson: Do not interject, Mr Barr. It is most unseemly.
MS LE COUTEUR: the reason is. I am sorry; I missed Mr Hanson’s interjection.
Mr Hanson: I was asking Mr Barr to be quiet, Ms Le Couteur. I was trying to listen to what you said. He was being most rude and ungracious in making interjections.
MS LE COUTEUR: I should not be listening,
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Burch): Ms Le Couteur, can you continue, please.
MS LE COUTEUR: I am sorry. I am about to be told by Madam Assistant Speaker that I should not be listening to members.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: It would be in your interest, I think, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: I should be directing my comments, as I will do, to Madam Assistant Speaker.
Why are we having these call-ins? Possibly it is just that the government are not, in fact, building in realistic time lines to the projects and so, as things slip and slip a bit as they go along, they then realise that they do not have time to allow the possibility that there might be an appeal process and so the only thing they can do is call it in, regardless of whether or not there is any likelihood of it.
In conclusion, the Greens cannot see why this call-in is necessary, given the almost universal support for the Cotter Dam project. Again, we would have preferred to see it as a disallowable instrument.