Page 4151 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 21 September 2011

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committee established and I think that will be a step forward for supermarket policy in the ACT.

As to Mr Corbell’s speech, I agreed with almost everything he said. I agreed with him very much that the existing supermarket duopoly is not to the benefit of Canberrans. And I noted he said that the retail hierarchy having certainty for operators was highly desirable. Certainty about the retail hierarchy was also highly desirable to residents. So I would ask Mr Corbell why he chose not to agree to anything in my motion. I can understand that he might have problems with (2)(a):

review the implications of the recent approval of the supermarket at … Giralang …

Clearly the implications are needing to be reviewed. This is why we have got the Supreme Court challenge, but a legal challenge is not a really good way of working out policy. I regret that he would not agree with (a) but I understand that.

I think he could have easily agreed to (b). As I said, the direct sales in question are not likely to be concluded in the next few months because they have other processes that they are waiting on.

Paragraph (c) states:

clarify the definition of GFA and its consistent application in all Government policy and decisions for all types of commercial operations …

Mr Corbell’s speech argued in favour of this. I cannot understand why he opposes it.

As to (d), the GFA inventory, I am glad to hear that ACTPLA intend to do this. I would like them to add in the areas at the airport because they, while not under ACTPLA’s control, are clearly part of the retail issue.

As to (e), the commercial zones, I cannot see why the government do not agree with this. I am hopeful they would do it anyway.

In (f), I am talking about writing to the minister for transport, who is the control authority as far as the airport is concerned, to seek a cooperative approach to retail development at the airport. One of Canberra’s significant problems from a retailing point of view is that we have an area in the ACT that is quite close to significant parts of Canberra and is totally out of the ACT government’s planning controls. And this is why we have just had Costco open there. I think this is a major problem and I would like to see the Assembly as a whole agree to write to the federal transport minister seeking a cooperative approach on this.

Reporting back on these issues by August next year would, I think, be a very useful thing for the government to do. I regret that the government is not doing this. I guess I can say that at least the positive thing is that we are now going to have a second bite of the cherry tomorrow with Mr Seselja’s motion and my motion to establish a select committee to deal with these issues. And given that both Liberals and Greens support this, I am confident there will be a committee.

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