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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 3753..


MR STEFANIAK: I am happy to table a detailed list on this very important initiative. I think if members are interested in crime prevention they would show a little bit more interest in it. I table that document which lists all of those initiatives in detail. I table the following paper:

Crime Prevention Budget - List of crime prevention measures and costings.

Gungahlin Development Authority

MR CORBELL: My question is to the Chief Minister. In October of this year the ACT Supreme Court found that a $6 million tender for the release of land at Yerrabi Ponds by the Gungahlin Development Authority was unlawful. Chief Minister, in a WIN Television news bulletin on 19 October of this year, the day following the court's decision, you said, "I intend to meet with the chair of the authority in the next few days." Have you met with the chair of the GDA in relation to this matter? What was the outcome of any meeting held?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank Mr Corbell for that question. Yes, I did, as I indicated, meet with the chair of the Gungahlin Development Authority shortly after the decision by the ACT Supreme Court was handed down. I indicated to the representatives of the GDA who were present that I was concerned about the decision that had been made. I was intent on ensuring that we had, to the maximum extent possible, systems at work in the ACT to prevent issues of that kind arising in ACT government agencies' handling and tendering processes. I wanted assurance that this process had been handled appropriately. There was an explanation given by the members of the authority who were briefing me then about what had occurred.

I should, I suppose, put on the record the view of the GDA about this matter. The authority took the view that the cause of the problem in the litigation had been the treatment by the tendering parties of taxation issues, particularly taxation issues that were made a little less certain because of the advent of the GST. There had been different views advanced about the way in which the impact of the GST on a tender bid would be handled in the way in which the bid was made and how it was treated by the GDA.

The GDA indicated that they were seeking advice on this question from counsel in Victoria - in fact, Mr Richard Tracey QC of the bar in Victoria - and I said that I would like to be briefed again once the advice had been received. I understand that the advice has taken longer to be received than they at first indicated. It has now been received and I understand that I will be receiving advice from the authority shortly as to what course of action they propose to take, based on the advice that they have received.

I have also indicated clearly to the GDA that I consider that the running of an appeal in the matter in a substantive way would be an action of last resort and that strong justification would need to be made for them to commit further money from the authority to the conduct of that litigation. Mr Speaker, I am happy to advise members further in due course when I have received the advice that I am awaiting from the GDA.


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