Page 3232 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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MS BURCH: I believe I have. I have answered a question, and I referred to a letter that was an exchange between the human rights commissioner and the director-general, Martin Hehir, around use of force. As a result of that exchange, practices were changed and were improved, and they will continue to be improved, as I say, as good practice demands.

Planning—alleged interference

MR SMYTH: My question is for the Deputy Chief Minister. Minister, as part of a freedom of information request, the Canberra Liberals have received a letter in your name to Mr Stanhope in relation to interference in the planning process. The letter states, among other things:

I believe that the ability of ACTPLA to make an independent decision on the DA has been compromised.

Minister, did you ever sign that letter? If not, why not?

MR BARR: No, I did not. I needed to be confident in the context of the briefing and the content of the letter, and I sought advice on a number of issues, as I indicated in my previous answer to the Leader of the Opposition’s question, from the Government Solicitor, from the head of the ACT public service and from Mr Stanhope himself.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, the letter also states:

I am concerned that officers in the Department of Land and Property Services, in particular, appear to repeatedly over-step the mark when it comes to their interference …

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Smyth did ask the minister did he sign the letter. The minister said no, so anything further to do with that particular letter is in draft and therefore hypothetical.

Mr Seselja interjecting—

Mr Hargreaves: It is therefore hypothetical, for the deaf people in the room.

Members interjecting—


Mr Hargreaves interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. Order!

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