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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1867

Mr SPEAKER - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr DALY - The report from the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory, which I have just tabled, conveys the Committee's findings in regard to a series of proposals to vary the plan of the layout of the city of Canberra. Honourable members will be aware of the procedure which gives rise to such a report because I have tabled reports on similar matters on a number of occasions during this Parliament. I remind the House that this represents the discharge of one part of the dual function of this very important Committee. The Committee considers proposals to vary the 1925 gazetted plan of Canberra and, also, considers and reports on a variety of matters in relation to the Australian Capital Territory, such as Sunday observance, the fruit and vegetable market and the milk industry.

In saying that the Committee is important, I do so with some pride and in the belief that the responsibilities carried on behalf of the Parliament by the Committee are unique in Australia and have been carried out in a way which has earned the Committee high regard by the people of Canberra. This reputation has been earned as a result of the thorough and impartial way these inquiries have been conducted over the years since the Committee was first appointed. The Committee acts in some ways like a guardian of the Commonwealth and the principles employed in developing Canberra - the national capital. Honourable members should note that, of this series of 14 proposals for variations to the Canberra plan, the Committee has withheld approval of 2 items relating to development proposals, firstly, in the vicinity of the old Canberra High School, which is item No. 11, and, secondly, adjacent to the Russell Defence Offices, which is item No. 13.

The Committee has made site inspections of these 2 proposals and is not satisfied of their merit. Until the Committee is so satisfied, no recommendation for their implementation will be given by this Committee. Without such surveillance and questioning, investment of public funds could occur in ways which may not be good enough for our national capital. It is for this reason that I commend this report, and the work of the Committee, to honourable members.

Ordered that the report be printed.

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