Page 2901 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you; you may sit. My understanding of the discussion Mr Hanson was having is that he was reflecting on the government as a whole, not an individual, which—
MR HANSON: The process, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: The process. So I do not find that point of order proven in this instance. Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. I do not believe there is any corruption at play here; I am saying that the process is dodgy. I am not suggesting that there are any underhand issues going on. If there are, Mr Corbell may wish to enlighten us. He seems a bit sensitive. But the process clearly—
Mr Corbell: Point of order.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Point of order, Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: That is an imputation.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Corbell. Mr Hanson, could you withdraw, please.
MR HANSON: I withdraw, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR HANSON: Getting back to the issue, when Mr Corbell spoke, he talked about the proponents. His focus was on the proponents, giving them surety. That was his focus. It does seem in this regard that the focus of this government is slavishly on the proponent rather than the community, be it the Belconnen Community Council or others connected with these two variations.
The question is: why can’t this wait till September? We are talking about planning proposals that will stretch over decades, but this government are hell-bent on changing the processes, circumventing the standing orders, so that they can ram this through. Why? This is sneaky and underhanded, as Mr Coe said. It flies in the face of all the principles we have heard from this government over years. Over years we have been hearing from these people opposite about the way planning should be conducted, and they are doing the very opposite.
I hark back to Simon Corbell MLA making a difference on his website. Back then he was making a difference, in 2001: “ACT Labor’s agenda is to promote a new emphasis on open, democratic and responsive government.” There was investment in government and all these processes that were all about openness, not circumventing the powers of the Assembly and all this sort of stuff. Then he talks about open space—that there would be an open space network and we would never infringe on anybody’s open space, that a Labor government would direct a newly established planning authority to comprehensively identify and classify Canberra’s open space network in consultation with the community.