Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 October 2017) . . Page.. 4294 ..
MR COE: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. We will certainly take on board that advice as to whether a substantive motion is required on this matter. I have been very careful to point out that I believe the government is corrupt. Minister Gentleman did stand up and say that I had accused him of corruption. I did no such thing.
But I do have real concerns about the government at large. It is all too common a story in the ACT and with Labor governments around the country that have been in for too long. The complacency kicks in, the nepotism and cronyism is at full speed and the corruption follows. Unfortunately, that is quite possibly what has happened here with regard to this proposed development in or adjacent to Red Hill. I too call on the Assembly not to proceed with the government’s course of action. I think their course of action is wrong. It is not best practice and is by no means something that we should establish as a precedent in the ACT.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.02): I want to put on the record, firstly, in response to Mr Coe’s spurious allegations, that I have had no conversations with the Federal Golf Club in regard to any associations they have with any groups at all. It is spurious to invent such an allegation as Mr Coe has. Mr Coe slurs both the community clubs and community groups with that allegation. He should be ashamed of himself. He should publicly withdraw that allegation against those community groups and clubs.
In regard to the amendment itself, I said pretty clearly in my speech on my amendment what we need to achieve in a planning sense. Planning should be separate to the Assembly process, as an independent planning authority. Any intervention by the Assembly does implicate the independence of that planning authority for the future.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.04): I have a table that came through in a freedom of information request about this area. The table says, “I found this briefing from 2013 and updated it.” That was in 2015. If we go back many years, we see that in 1999 variation 94 was disallowed in the Assembly because of leasing issues, inconsistency with the principles of the Territory Plan and impacts on formal and informal open space area. In 2007 the government supported a process for a draft variation on the basis that the golf club had experienced financial difficulties relating to the maintenance of the golf club due to prolonged drought and the cost of water. The proposal did not differ greatly from previous proposals in the disallowed variation 94.
It goes on with various events over the years. In 2011 Minister Barr wrote to the NCA advising about diplomatic uses: “While that would be lower density than the residential redevelopment proposed by the Federal Golf Club, the issues still remain to be resolved. Access to the site is via an adjoining nature reserve. Bushfire issues, and the need for two points of emergency services access.” There is quite detailed information on the applications over the years for residential development in the area. But the issues remain the same. I repeat: the issues remain the same.