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Thursday, 2 April 1987
Page: 1999

Mr SNOW —by leave-The honourable member for Bendigo (Mr Brumby) and the honourable member for Banks (Mr Mountford) are in the chamber to present some very important reports from the Publications Committee and the Standing Committee on Expenditure. It must seem tedious to them, as it does to me and members of the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory from as far as Queensland and Western Australia, that we have to look at the parking problems, traffic lights, school crossings and other events in Canberra. It is to the discredit of the Senate in this Parliament that it failed to pass legislation which would have enabled the people of Canberra to elect their own local government. It is important that we consider these matters. It is particularly important to me as the member for Eden-Monaro, which is adjacent to the Australian Capital Territory, to be represented on the Joint Committee and ensure that the area around Canberra is represented in some quite critical decisions.

Mrs Kelly —It is represented very well too.

Mr SNOW —I thank the honourable member for Canberra for pointing out my record on that Committee. As I pointed out to the Committee, there was in the reports to the Committee a certain lack of understanding of the impact on Queanbeyan of development in Canberra and the impact on Canberra of things that happened in Queanbeyan. It is disappointing that no consideration was given at an earlier stage to the development of shops in Queanbeyan when we were considering a development in Canberra. As the honourable member for Fraser (Mr Langmore) pointed out, we cannot consider retail expansion from the point of view of retailers and whether there are too many shops or too few shops. It is very important that we look at the development of the whole sub-region, not just Canberra itself. In that context Queanbeyan needs to be seen as a major regional centre-Queanbeyan and Canberra. Queanbeyan people shop in Canberra and Canberra people shop in Queanbeyan. When we look at parking, as well as retail space, we ought to be considering what happens over the border.

All too often we have ignored one another over the years. Serving on the Joint Committee, I have tried to stop that. I point out that the Chairman of the Joint Committee, the honourable member for Canberra (Mrs Kelly), and I have supported the appointment of a Queanbeyan City Council Mayor to a development authority. I pay tribute to the Queanbeyan City Council and other surrounding areas for getting away from the insular attitude of seeing themselves as part of Canberra. We should ensure that Canberra does not see itself just as a centre that is isolated from the rest of the region. I believe that this sort of decision will reflect the importance of Canberra not only to the people of Canberra but also to the region and the importance of the region to Canberra.