Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Hansard 2008-06-11 Reporting Date/Interim Report

On 11 June, Mr David Davis MLC for Southern Metropolitan moved the following motion in the Legislative Council:
“That the resolution of the Council on 2 May 2007 requiring the Select Committee on Public Land Development to present its final report to the Council no later than 30 June 2008 be amended so as to now require the committee to present its final report by 11 September 2008”.
And concurrently sought to move:
“That the Council take note of the second interim report of the Select Committee on Public Land Development”.
Mr Kavanagh’s comments in Parliament on Hansard are below:

Title: Reporting date and second interim report
Date: 11 June 2008
Page: 2197

Reporting date and second interim report

Page 2197

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- Having spoken about the work of the Select Committee on Public Land Development on the tabling of its first interim report, I do not intend to speak at length on today's tabling of the committee's second interim report. There are two points, however, that seem to me to deserve emphasis and are therefore worth repeating. The first is that the government has maintained its hostility and obstruction to the committee's work. This can be seen rather clearly from the speech given earlier today by Mr Thornley and by the extravagant attacks on the committee by its deputy chairman, Mr Tee, when the first interim report was tabled. One expects possibly to hear similar remarks from Mr Tee a little later today.

The extraordinary attacks included a greatly exaggerated claim of hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on the committee. There has been some spending, no doubt, on the committee's work, including photocopying, postage and so on, and there have been two assistants employed for a total of a few months, not throughout the entire length of the committee's work. I do not believe that the amount of money spent on the committee amounts to anywhere near $100 000, let alone the hundreds of thousands of dollars that has been alleged by the government members of the committee.

This hostility and obstruction falls into a pattern that is familiar to members and observers of the gaming committee also. The government has continued to do its best to prevent the committee doing its work. This house specifically authorised the land committee to investigate the alienation of public land. The government relies on an obscure administrative order to continue to insist that public land means land that cannot be alienated.

The government's logically untenable position has, as obviously intended, limited the investigations of the committee.

Our adversarial parliamentary system is built on the assumption that competition enhances performance or, to put it another way, that scrutiny is conducive to good government and indeed is good for the government ultimately. The people of Victoria should be concerned that the government has continued to express determination to avoid scrutiny.

The second point I would like to emphasise is that the way that the government deals with land is a matter of keen interest to a very large number of people. Dealings with public land is the point at which community interest intersects with government policy for many people. The committee has heard from large numbers of passionate, interested people.

It is important that governments develop and implement the best policies possible on the uses and sale or other alienation of public land. The committee's work could assist the government to fulfil this obligation.


Peter Kavanagh MLC
Member for Western Victoria
Parliament of Victoria

"La Cabine"
2nd Floor
1 Yarra Street
Geelong VIC 3220

Ph: 03 5222 1503
Fax: 03 5222 8677

Email: peter.kavanagh@parliament.vic.gov.au
Blog: http://peterkavanagh.blogspot.com/
Site: http://www.dlpwestvic.org/

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