Page 3319 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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Omit paragraph (2), substitute:

“(2) calls on the ACT Government to ensure that the call-in powers are not used to support the Development Application submitted by the proponent of the solar farm proposed for Uriarra.”.

It seems Mr Rattenbury is trying to walk on both sides of the fence here. The fact is that Mr Rattenbury’s motion calls on the government to not use call-in powers. Call-in powers can be used two ways—they can be used to progress something or they can be used to stop something. We on this side of the chamber have no problem whatsoever with Mr Corbell using his call-in powers to stop what is being proposed for Uriarra Village. So the amendment I move today to Mr Rattenbury’s amendment is that the ACT government ensure that call-in powers are not used to support the development proposed for Uriarra.

We on this side of the chamber have no problem whatsoever if Minister Corbell wants to put a lot of people out of their misery by saying this is not going to be progressed and that this is the wrong site. Quite frankly, I believe Minister Corbell, the Chief Minister and the entire government not only owe that to Uriarra Village residents and the rest of Canberra but also to the proponent, because they will put everyone out of a lot of misery if, in fact, Minister Corbell shows a bit of leadership, calls in this development application, says it is wrong and calls for it to be placed in a more appropriate location.

I also think the government is putting ACTPLA planning assessors in a very awkward situation here. When you have the minister all but saying this is a done deal, what kind of second-guessing will the planning assessors be doing when they go to independently evaluate what is being proposed? Minister Corbell is saying “there will” be three developments, “there will” be more than $100 million, “there will” be more than 100 jobs, “there will”, “there will”, “there will”. Frankly, that puts immense pressure on ACTPLA planning assessors, and you wonder just how fair a process it can be when it comes to assessing the development application.

I think everyone will be put out of their misery, correctly and fairly, if Minister Corbell shows some leadership and uses his call-in powers to say that this is not appropriate. If and when a development application goes in, that will be a real test for Minister Corbell. It is a shame Mr Rattenbury does not want that to happen. Mr Rattenbury seems hell-bent on giving the proponent appeal rights. I think everyone would be better off if Minister Corbell shows some leadership and gives advice about a better location that would serve the proponent, Canberrans and, of course, Uriarra Village residents.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.46): This is an extraordinary position from the Liberal Party. Mr Wall’s argument is how terrible the application of call-in powers is and how it foreshortens the process and does not allow people to have their say, but it is all right to use them as long as you have used them “for the decision we want”. Where is any sense of the application of due process and merit-based assessment in that assertion?

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