What we saw today was a complete about-face from Minister Mick Gentleman.
In Planning and Urban Renewal Committee Annual Reports hearings, he claimed that any building with Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos is unsafe, and must be demolished.
Later, he retracted that via twitter, saying that the commercial building in Ainslie was safe after remediation.
I say to Mr Gentleman, you can’t have it both ways. Why were nearly 1,000 Canberra homes purchased by the Labor Government and demolished, rather than home-owners being offered or allowed remediation so they could stay in their own home?
As we have seen on multiple occasions from this Labor Government, it’s one rule for some, another rule for others.
I don’t blame former Mr Fluffy home-owners who are feeling betrayed by the Government today."
You may already have read today's Canberra Times report that ACT power bills will go up by $10 after the Government passed the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Amendment Bill 2017 transferring responsibility of trimming trees near power poles to ActewAGL.
As Shadow Minister for Infrastructure I spoke against this Bill – the cost of living in Canberra is already too high. To view my speech click here.
Up to now, the trimming of trees has been covered in your rates - which of course, have been going up and up.
Now, you will have to pay more to cover this basic service - but of course, no reduction of your rates.
I have yet to see any changes introduced by this government that lead to a reduction of electricity prices.
Development activity at the Federal Golf Club should be suspended and investigated amid concerns of cronyism and a lack of government integrity, Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Nicole Lawder said today.
The Federal Golf Club has attempted to build 125 retirement units on its land in Red Hill since 1998. In that time, the development plans have been met with fierce resistance by the community and both sides of government.
It was only after the golf club defected from Clubs ACT — a group that the Chief Minister and Gaming Minister have both publicly stated they will not meet with — to the Labor-friendly Canberra Community Clubs group that the Labor Government pushed through the golf club’s controversial development proposal.
“This deal is shrouded in controversy and reeks of cronyism,” Ms Lawder said.
“The decision to proceed with the golf club’s proposal came only weeks after the club joined the Labor-friendly clubs groups."
“The Chief Minister’s community panel to consult with relevant stakeholders was also a sham; it consisted of three invitation-only meetings and was disbanded with many issues remaining unresolved."
“MLA’s were given two days’ notice of the meetings, and only permitted to attend small parts of the discussion, and in some cases locked out altogether."
“Community groups fear the process is a fait accompli, and the consultation was a sham."
“I am calling on the ACT Government to suspend all development until these integrity issues are resolved,” Ms Lawder concluded."
The unanimous decision by the ACT Legislative Committee to establish an ICAC is welcome news for Canberra, Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe said today.
“It is time to clean up Canberra from the mounting scandals that have been committed by the Labor Government with taxpayers’ money.
“Whether it is millions of dollars being paid for land without valuations, secret deals for contracts or sweetheart deals with certain property developers, enough is enough.
“An anti-corruption commission can’t come soon enough. We need to clean up Canberra,” Mr Coe concluded.
The Canberra Liberals thank Steve Doszpot for his wonderful service to Canberra through his membership of the ACT Legislative Assembly since 2008, Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe said today.
“Steve has served the community with passion and purpose,” Mr Coe said.
“Since entering the Assembly as a Canberra Liberals MLA in 2008, Steve has set the standard for fighting on behalf of the community.
“Having pursued many community causes during his time in politics, Steve’s theme has always been to fight for people who may not have the ability or resources to help themselves. As such, Steve has made many friends and is well respected as a community champion.
“Some of the causes Steve’s has fought for include:
Standing up for the Shepherd Centre and Noah’s Ark when their future was uncertain;
Fighting to have a greater presence for nurses in Canberra’s special schools;
Driving legislative reform to empower school principals to have greater autonomy about how they manage their schools;
Advocating to have more ESL teachers; and
Supporting victims of bullying at CIT.
“He also advocated for many local initiatives, such as:
Better planning, especially around Manuka Oval, Yarralumla shops and at the Brickworks;
Park and Ride facilities in Calwell; and
Making Green Square in Kingston green again.
“He has made hundreds of representations for constituents about footpaths, street lights, grass mowing and so many other essential urban services issues.
“In recent times, Steve has championed the need for tougher laws to support victims of dog attacks and he is actively working on legislation to address this pressing need.
“Of course, he has also been a champion for local sporting clubs.
“Steve, on behalf of all of your colleagues, thank you for all you have done for Canberra.
“Despite serious health challenges, Steve is determined to raise awareness of liver cancer and to offer support for families of cancer suffers.
“Steve’s contribution to public life in the ACT will be missed,” Mr Coe concluded.
Steve was elected in 2008 and will serve until early December 2017. During his time as an MLA, he has been the Shadow Minister for Education; Sport and Recreation; Family and Community Services; Urban Services; and Seniors.