Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 June 2017) . . Page.. 1980 ..
point that when there is a real issue on the table we should have very clear consultation. We should have early consultation. It should be done in an open way with the community. But what Mr Wall is suggesting we should do is that every time a public servant undertakes a piece of research it should be made available. I do not think that that is a real and valid thing.
So it is not right for him to twist—and Mr Parton is going to do it again, I am sure, in his closing remarks—Ms Le Couteur’s words in a way to serve his political agenda, because she has been absolutely clear and the Greens are very clear in our position. When there is a process in train, when a view has been formed that a proposal should be put to the community, it is right that that consultation happens early and that it happens thoroughly.
But it is not right—and I am sure he is going to do this in his interpretation—that any piece of research is an agenda on the part of the government. They are two quite different things. I think the Liberal Party needs to be honest with the community about the positions that have been taken in this debate.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (12.12): I was not going to speak but, given that my words are being critiqued for remaining silent, I may as well say something to try to give Mr Rattenbury some legitimacy for his critique of my silence.
I commend Mr Parton, Ms Lawder and Mr Wall for what they are endeavouring to achieve here. If you go to the quote that Mr Wall just made regarding the FOI legislation that was debated last year: as Mr Rattenbury just said, it is about the public interest. Fundamentally that is what this is about: the public interest.
The question before us fundamentally is: would releasing this information be in the public interest? I have spoken to many people about this issue out in the community, through the affected suburbs, and it is without question their desire—it is in the public interest—that the community know what community zoned sites are being considered for public housing.
We know that there has been an uproar. There has been a real view from those affected suburbs at the moment that they have been misled. I can point to letters written by Mrs Jones to Mr Barr asking if there were any plans for the PANDSI site. He denied it twice.
We know that this has caused real disquiet, disharmony, which is not good for anybody. There is no good outcome from that for the public housing tenants who will potentially eventually arrive in that location or anyone else. So what we are simply saying is that there is a list of community facilities zoned sites that are being considered, and the public has a right to know.
The public has a right to know. It is their land. It is community land by its very name. And for the Greens to come to this place and say, “We are going to deny the public what is clearly in the public interest,” is shameful. We should all in this place listen—
Mr Rattenbury: Twist it to your agenda.