Page 2678 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015
But confusion still reigns, because Mr Rattenbury, I am reliably informed, has told at least two people that the issue had not been discussed at cabinet level. Mr Barr, on the other hand, during questioning at estimates, suggested that the removal of land from Telopea had been a cabinet issue. In any event, in recent weeks there has clearly been a change in the tone of conversation. Minister Barr said in the Assembly in March:
But let us be clear: the tennis courts are to become a childcare centre and new courts will be built.
By June, headlines in the Canberra Times talked about Mr Barr offering to consider alternative sites, with land behind the Griffith centre identified as a possible alternative for a childcare centre. Last week, it had merged into the government working with the board of Mocca to look at a variety of different options. We also know that the firm of KPMG have been engaged by the government to draft options for moving; Mocca are to receive a final copy of their report today, as I understand.
What started as rhetoric from Minister Burch and Minister Barr that nothing would stop Mocca from moving and tennis courts being bulldozed has now come back to what is, hopefully, a more reasoned approach. The one outstanding issue about which little is known is why there is the big push to get the Services Club off their own land and the role that DHA has been claimed to play in this matter.
I am aware that Mr Rattenbury plans to move an amendment to my motion, and I welcome his interest in this issue. If ever there was an issue on which Mr Rattenbury should agree with this side of the chamber, this is the one. It deeply affects his constituents. It goes to the heart of the matter; it goes to the heart of the important role that not-for-profit organisations play in the Canberra community; and it impacts on the need for playing areas for Canberra’s young people.
I said last week that for the constituents in Molonglo there could be no better example of how this government rates the importance of public consultation. We have poor planning and even worse consultation affecting a school, a childcare centre, a community organisation and Canberra’s veterans, resulting in a virtually secret decision by this government to take land from a school that ultimately only benefits a hotel chain.
Before I move the amendment, I should stress that I have seen Mr Rattenbury’s amendments and I was rather heartened by some of the things Mr Rattenbury had to say. Mr Rattenbury has informed me that he is more inclined to look at the amendments that Minister Barr is about to move. I have not seen that in detail, but I am somewhat disappointed firsthand from what Mr Rattenbury told me.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (10.19): I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “notes”, substitute:
“(a) the Canberra Services Club cannot rebuild a sustainable club that provides services to the community on the site of their former building;