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Monday, 16 February 2004
Page: 24753

Mr NAIRN (1:46 PM) —In recent weeks the ACT government has attempted to locate a jail on land where the closest residents do not get to vote in ACT elections. This is because they live in New South Wales—in Jerrabombera and Letchworth in my electorate of Eden-Monaro. Last Thursday night a public meeting of nearly 200 people passed a number of motions in relation to the ACT government's actions. The first motion, passed unanimously, demanded that the ACT government immediately reverse its decision to locate its jail at Hume. Another motion referring to the possibility of land near the airport being available called on the ACT government to consider using its own land in the Majura area if the land near the airport is not available. The Australian government is currently determining what the future needs of the airport are—something that everyone should agree is necessary. No-one would want the integrity of the airport compromised by a hasty decision which could be regretted at a later time.

This absurd political exercise by the ACT Chief Minister, clearly designed to avoid voter backlash in his own patch, should not have even commenced. The ACT government says that its preferred location is the Majura Valley. The ACT government already owns land in that region. If it does not want to wait for the Australian government to responsibly finish its planning process, the ACT government should build its jail on its own land several kilometres north of the airport.