Page 1426 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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critical to gaining an understanding of the needs of all sectors of our community, from individual residents to businesses, community and sporting organisations, and environmental and conservation organisations.

I understand that we will be reviewing the Belconnen and Woden master plans over the next couple of years. I look forward to playing a role, along with my community, in the review of the Belconnen plan when it begins.

I am supporting Ms Porter’s motion because, unlike those opposite, I believe that you cannot talk about consultation with the community and then in the next breath demand to know the time frame and costs without having that conversation first. It is either one or the other. The motion says that “we must engage and consult with our community on what it identifies as the priorities”—not the priorities of the Liberal Party, but the priorities of the community and all of the city’s stakeholders.

My colleagues are all outlining the good things that this government is doing to bring Canberra more into the 21st century. It is a good thing. Canberrans want progress. Canberrans want an active government that always keeps one eye on the future growth of our city whilst keeping the other eye on making sure that Canberra remains the liveable community centre place that it is. That is what this Labor government is doing.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.15): It is interesting that the government has now joined the debate about the future of the city after almost 12 years of neglect of that issue. I think that is the problem that we on the side of the chamber have with much of what the government does. There are video presentations; there is faux consultation; there are documents; and there are flow-through videos. There are all the bells and whistles but it never happens.

You only have to look at the Kingston foreshore project that commenced back in 2001. It is still not completed. You only have to look at Mr Corbell’s promise—“On time, on budget for GDE”. It took double the time and probably quadruple the budget. You only have to look at these projects to know that this is fanciful.

I would like to direct members’ attention to an article by Jenny Stewart after the Civic to the lake proposal was revamped. I will read the first two paragraphs:

It’s hard to know what to make of Chief Minister Katy Gallagher’s recently announced City to the Lake project. Stripped of its more fanciful components, it seems to be a repackaged version of some familiar ideas. In fact, key parts of the project—to integrate City Hill with Civic and to develop the West Basin of the lake—originated in the National Capital Authority’s widely critiqued Griffin Legacy plan of 2006. The National Capital Plan has already been amended to accommodate these changes, so the forthcoming “consultation” period is clearly about endorsement rather than debate.

So there we are. That is the leading edge; that is the vision. That is the—what is it?—transformational approach that the government has taken. A Liberal government under John Howard did the work seven years ago. It is a Labor government under Kevin Rudd that ripped the money for the Griffin legacy out of the budget. So it is a case of too little, too late and being totally unaware of yourself.

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