CANAL ESTATES (PROHIBITION) BILL 2011

July 6, 2011

Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - I feel like a lone person up here but that is all right. I will start off with a comment that was made by the member for Windermere when he mentioned Mandurah in Western Australia, something I think you read out of the Examiner. I Googled it. I thought, 'I will find out what it says in a final year honours dissertation'. The comments made in the abstract, say, 'The flushing characteristics of coastal waterways, including artificial canal estates, have major implications on water quality issues, such as the residence of pollutant discharges and the potential impacts on biological communities living within the system.' It goes on about, 'Mandurah is one of many recently constructed canal developments.'

 

In the final paragraph, and this is easily found by Googling it, 'This highlights the potential for water quality problems as does the evidence of stagnant regions within the estate. Thus, ongoing monitoring will be required to ensure that the health of the canal environment is maintained.'

 

I mention that, purely because the honourable member had used that as one of the areas that was going so well.

 

Mr Dean - I quoted that from the paper.

 

Mrs ARMITAGE - A quote from the Examiner.

 

Mr Dean - It wasn't what I said.

 

Mrs ARMITAGE - Exactly, but you had no basis for your quote from the Examiner and mine, at least, is from a dissertation to do with an honours study.

 

Mr Dean - I thought I had a great basis.

 

Mrs ARMITAGE - Apart from that, I certainly appreciate the arguments that have made against the bill but I will be supporting it and I have a variety of reasons for it and I can count numbers, so I can see that the bill will not be getting up. I do not believe the bill was about saying that Tasmania is not open for development or business. I think it is about saying that we are open for appropriate, responsible and sustainable development or business. After all, we are caretakers of the land and we have to ensure that we do not, unintentionally, destroy the State's natural assets.

 

I know I hear it is about discretion. Often, discretion worries me because I have seen discretion and it depends too, that you can have representers, but the cost, I think it was $100 000 plus, for representers for Ralphs Bay. You have a proponent or proposal that is there and obviously a lot of the developers have a lot of money that they can put in and they can go along to put their case forward. But representers, the public and the general community do not have that same amount. It is much more difficult to think can I go against this development, can I put up a case against this development, can I afford to put up a case against this development and we see that happen time and time again. The community gets together and they try to raise funds. On a lot of occasions, representers are put off going against a development because they simply cannot afford it and they cannot afford the risk that they have to take to go up against these big developers.

 

My concern is that the long-term consequences of the environment for local councils and the local community. I am sure that we all know developers who were literally led down the garden path, believing that all would be well eventually and they just followed along and put a lot of money into developments. At the end of the day, it came back saying, no. I guess it is a bit like Ralphs Bay, you cannot do it. I think that is just as bad as saying you cannot do it in the very beginning because they have spent, often, millions of dollars believing that something was going to eventuate when it did not.

 

To me, this bill does not detract from confidence. Instead, it provides certainty that is clear and unequivocal. It is one of those difficult things. I have listened to the argument and in some parts I have agreed with it and thought, 'Oh yes, it could be local government', but often local government does not get to make the decision, it goes on to a higher power. That is where representatives fall by the wayside because they are too afraid to push on with it because of the financial constraints. People do not have the money and it makes it very hard. I believe we have to have long-term vision, not short-term gain, and I will be supporting this bill.

 

 

 

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