Parliamentary Question

Minister Representing: Question No:892
Portfolio:Planning and Infrastructure Question Date:11/23/2006
Year:2006Answer Date:11/23/2006
Parliament:37Question Type:Question Without Notice
Session Number:1Asked By:Mr J.N. HYDE
Chamber:AssemblyTabled Paper No:

Question:



DONATIONS TO POLITICAL PARTIES


892. Mr J.N. HYDE to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure:

I refer to revelations yesterday that the Canal Rocks Pty Ltd development got a significant advantage from the previous government in return for a $5 000 donation. Will the minister please advise the house whether there were any other donations from significant developers in the south west to the previous coalition government?

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. Yesterday I outlined the history of the controversy in relation to Canal Rocks. I pointed out that a decision was made by a previous planning minister to allow the population at the development at the Smiths Beach node to at least double in size from 750 to 1 500, and to then put a caveat on top of that which said that even that might not be the limit. That led to the Canal Rocks controversy and the decision by our government to peel back the development potential of that land, which it did. I pointed out at the same time the very interesting fact that at the time that decision was made, without any consultation with the public, a $5 000 donation was made to the previous coalition government. I draw no conclusion about the connectedness of those two events; I will leave that decision to be made by the public. We could go back even further and ask why this “Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge Statement of Planning Policy” had to be developed. It relates to yet another controversial development in respect of which we know that the Leader of the Opposition - the member for Warren-Blackwood, as he then was - received a $5 000 donation from the Cedarvale company while he was a member of cabinet as the local government minister.

Mr M.W. Trenorden interjected.

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: This development was equally controversial and, indeed, led to the need and the pressure to implement some better planning along the coast. It was a development that involved Gnarabup Beach, which is south of Margaret River.

Mr T. Buswell: West of Margaret River.

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: West; I thank the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. A town planning scheme had been developed by the local authority that had been approved in draft and gone out for advertising. However, when the submissions were considered, a decision was made by the planning minister of the day to increase the height limit by some 25 per cent to give the council the discretion to increase the number of residential lots on that site from 140 to 243 lots, a very significant increase; and over and above that, to include another entire area that was not marked for development at all to be included as a tourism development zone. Therefore, again the same modus operandi that I reported on yesterday was used to make a very substantial change to the advertised plan. At the same time a decision was made by the minister that it was not to be re-advertised.

Mr M.W. Trenorden: What about the port Coogee development?

The SPEAKER: I am sure that if the member for Avon seeks to ask a question without notice, he will be allowed to do so the next time Parliament sits. This is not an opportunity for the member for Avon to ask a question from his seat because he feels as though he should, and I call to him to order for the first time.

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: If the member for Avon wants to ask a question about the proposed port Coogee development, I will be more than happy to answer a question about it and to tell him that it was yet another mess I inherited from the previous coalition government.

Several members interjected.

The SPEAKER: I call the members for Cottesloe and Vasse to order!

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. That again was another example -

Several members interjected.

The SPEAKER: I call the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Cottesloe to order!

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: Those were other examples of very dramatic increases in development potential on very sensitive coastal areas, which appeared to coincide with donations to the Liberal Party; in that case a donation to the member for Warren-Blackwood. If the member for Warren-Blackwood believes that donations affect the behaviour of planning ministers and the decisions of government, can he tell us how many donations he got from, and how many times he met with, the developer of Gnarabup Beach Estate?

Mr P.D. Omodei: Adele Farina was involved in that.

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: Adele Farina has been doing a very good job trying to help me unpick the mess that has developed under -

Mr T. Buswell interjected.

The SPEAKER: I call the member for Vasse to order for the third time!

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: We need to know from the Leader of the Opposition how many donations he received from the developer over the time he was the local member and Minister for Local Government when all these developments were proceeding. Will the Leader of the Opposition tell us whether he received a donation of $2 000?

Mr P.D. Omodei: You have obviously gone back 11 years. Why don’t you go and have a look.

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: No; the Leader of the Opposition should tell us.

Mr P.D. Omodei: No; you go and do it.

Ms A.J.G. MacTIERNAN: Mr Speaker, he will not tell us because he knows that he was intimately involved in this development and was the recipient of donations.

Mr P.D. Omodei: I was not intimately involved in any development; never.

The SPEAKER: Six questions have taken 35 minutes. I urge ministers to answer more succinctly and members, mainly those on my left, to not interject and to allow question time to finish.