Page 403 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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All my encouragement goes to Marg on her journey as she rides across Australia. Go Girl is an excellent campaign if anyone wants to check it out and donate to the cause. It is doing a wonderful job to promote midwives and choice for birth.

Hawker village

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (6.15): I rise this evening to correct the record following the assertions last night by Mr Coe that I have been lock-step with the government throughout the process of the Hawker draft master plan. To understand just how wrong Mr Coe’s assertions were, we need to go back to the start.

My memory is that on or about 9 February 2009 I took a call from a very irate Garry Prince, the Hawker newsagent. The reason for Mr Prince’s call and for his agitation was an auction sign on the car park adjacent to KFC. About 4.30 that afternoon I visited Mr Prince and spoke with him at length about his concerns and, indeed, agreed with him. The first that he or I—or anyone else for that matter—became aware that this block of land was to be sold was the erection of that sign.

First thing next morning I went to see the then Chief Minister to raise my concern. He was also not aware that the block was to be sold. I suggested it should be withdrawn from sale, and he agreed. I further suggested there needed to be public consultation on the matter with the people who use Hawker shops—that is, predominantly residents of Weetangera, Scullin, Page as well as Hawker. Again Mr Stanhope agreed. I know Mrs Dunne is going to claim that she forced the Chief Minister’s hand at the time. However, he had already decided to put the wheels in motion to achieve that at the time she brought her motion on.

Having said that, I have to admit that the consultation process that was then commissioned by the LDA was pretty poor, and it was not until the previous Department of Land and Property Services was established that things started to get back on track. Be that as it may, I have attended every single meeting that has been held about this matter with one exception—that was the first meeting that was held by the group that calls themselves the friends of Hawker village. Madam Assistant Speaker, that was not for want of trying to attend that meeting. I rang a convenor, Mr Bill Kearney, and said that I wanted to come along and hear what people had to say—not to speak but just to listen. However, despite having lived in Hawker since 1990 and having been a member for Ginninderra since 2004, I was told in no uncertain terms by Mr Kearney that I would not be welcome and if I tried to attend I would be told to leave. I believe you tried to attend, Madam Assistant Speaker, and you were asked to leave. If that is your view of a democratic organisation and process, Mr Coe, I would like to hear you defend it.

Time prevents me going into greater depth. However, let me just say this: not only have I attended all meetings called by the friends, bar the one first, but I have also attended a large number of drop-in sessions, and I do not recall having seen either Mr Coe or Mrs Dunne there. That does not mean to say they did not go, but I do not recall seeing them.

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