Page 3671 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 23 August 2011

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should bend over backwards to try and stop a development which the planning minister has now agreed is a legitimate development?

The planning minister has actually vindicated Neil Savery through this call-in. Neil Savery said, “You’ve got to call it in.” Neil Savery said: “Well, it’s actually a reasonable development and there shouldn’t be interference in it. It doesn’t offend the government’s supermarket policy.” Simon Corbell has now agreed with that through this call-in.

There are a number of outstanding questions in relation to what is, I think, a fairly grubby affair. This has been a dodgy process. It is almost unprecedented, I think, to have such a senior public servant blowing the whistle on this kind of dodgy process which has been engaged in by ministers, their agencies and their offices on their behalf.

Andrew Barr, as the planning minister at the time, is going to have to answer a lot more questions. He is not going to be able to dodge questions forever like he did today, where he will not tell us what conversations he had with Neil Savery. He will not tell us whether or not he had a role in Neil Savery’s decision to step aside.

The other question that flows is: what is the status of Neil Savery now? He has been vindicated by this action but he was forced to step aside on this particular development and he was also pushed aside permanently, it seems, from his role as chief planner. What is the status of Neil Savery? Why is he being punished for standing up to the government, for standing up for good process, for standing up against the compromise of that process? What is Neil Savery’s position now? What is his status?

These are questions that this government will have to answer before this is out, before we are finished with this process, because this process smells. Neil Savery says it smells; we say it smells. And there are mountains of documentary evidence that suggest that something is amiss here. We are going to continue to pursue it.


Mr Corbell presented the following paper:

ACT Criminal Justice—Statistical Profile 2011—June quarter.

Economy—cost of living

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mr Speaker has received letters from Mr Coe, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Mr Hargreaves, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth, and has explained the absence of other requests, proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mr Smyth be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Cost of living pressures.

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