Page 2899 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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Mr Hanson was standing there at the time and I proceeded to then have a robust conversation with Mr Snow. Mr Hanson might recall this. Mr Hanson just sort of slithered off. He did not even participate in the conversation. He looked very uncomfortable at the time. I am surprised he did not stay around and join in the conversation.

Mr Hanson: When was this? This is like seven years ago, is it not?

MR RATTENBURY: I was not here seven years ago, Mr Hanson, so it cannot have been seven years ago, but it was—

Members interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Rattenbury has the floor.

MR RATTENBURY: It was a clear indication of the way one conducts oneself.

Anyway, turning back to the motion, as much as I am enjoying reminiscing, I go back to the actual content of the territory plan variation. I had some reservations about what should be allowed on the University of Canberra site but I think that both the vision presented by the University of Canberra, the plan that they have laid out for what they intend to do, and the requirements that have been put into this variation are very much about delivering a package of outcomes that will ensure that the University of Canberra can evolve but in a way that is not about unfairly or unequally competing with the Belconnen town centre or distorting the planning fabric of Canberra.

The Greens and I will continue to watch the progress of the University of Canberra. I note that there is a requirement that a review of the whole of the University of Canberra legislation package be brought to the Assembly in five years, and I think that will be a very important moment for this Assembly to scrutinise that what the University of Canberra has proposed and promised is actually being executed.

But we should keep an eye on it in the meantime as well. There are always opportunities in this place that if the University of Canberra in some way are breaching the spirit or the rules of what they have put forward for that campus then this Assembly can come back to that and rein in the university. I think that is something certainly I will be vigilant on, and I have made clear to the university that I think their vision as described is a good one but we expect them to stick to that.

So I think the Assembly can continue to monitor that series of developments very closely to make sure that it does meet our expectations. That is my view on these two variations. That is why I will be supporting the variations going forward today, because I think both projects have a great deal of merit for the future of this city.

This is about facilitating the future of Canberra, be it the university being a competitive centre of excellence or about providing good transport options. They are the sorts of things this city needs and I am happy to support development of them.

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