Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 117 ..
(2) After paragraph (1)(d), insert:
“(1A) declares its wish for Commonwealth Government departments to maintain their central offices in Canberra as a first priority; and”.
(3) Omit paragraph (2), substitute:
“(2) calls on the Speaker to convey the Assembly’s strong request to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to keep the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Belconnen.”.
I thank Dr Bourke for bringing this matter forward. It is interesting he is so late to this debate. The Canberra Liberals are happy to support the spirit, if not all the words, of this motion. It is a shame Dr Bourke has to be so bitter about these things. I know he has plenty of reason to be bitter, but he should consider where he should direct his bitterness.
This is a very important issue. I said to Dr Bourke yesterday during the listing meeting at administration and procedures that he was a bit late on this because I have already written to the federal government on this issue. For the information of members, I seek leave to table my letter to Mr Michael Pezzullo, the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, dated 7 January, and my letter to the Hon Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, dated the same day.
MRS DUNNE: I table the following paper:
Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Border Protection—Relocation from Belconnen—Copy of correspondence from Mrs Dunne to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and from Mrs Dunne to the Secretary, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, dated 7 January 2015.
I say Dr Bourke is late to this issue because it has been bubbling along for many months now. Senator Seselja and I have been in conversation on this issue and have been working on this issue since probably October last year, to my recollection. It is an issue that should be of utmost importance to members responsible for the area of Belconnen, and I think it is an issue of considerable importance and considerable stress for Belconnen businesses. The Belconnen business precinct depends for its viability on being an employment base. We have seen the effect on the viability of businesses in Gungahlin from the experience of building the Gungahlin town centre and not building employment there for a long period of time. The big ticket item for businesses in Gungahlin is employment.
Mrs Jones pointed that out in two election campaigns and has advocated so well for bringing employment to Gungahlin. Gungahlin shopping centre is essentially a two-day shopping centre—it works really well on Saturdays and Sundays, but during the week it can be quite difficult because no-one is there working except the people