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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 341..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

assumption that the delivery mechanism would be via a lease variation, until early 2000 when the Labor Party indicated that it could not support the proposal unless the change of use charge was increased from 75 to 100 per cent.

Mr Speaker, in order to achieve the high public and environmental benefit available from the gift of the land back as urban open space, the government agreed with a proposition put forward by the Labor Party. The only way to achieve this was to change from lease variation to total surrender of the club's land and then re-granting the other two parts. The surrender of the whole site and the grant of the lease for the oval took place at the same time on 15 September 2000. I believe all the stakeholders, including the Croatia Deakin Soccer Club, the local community and Assembly members, clearly understood that the end point of the process was to have the lessee of the oval as the club.

The government, through Urban Services, issues a large number of leases every year using a checklist procedure to ensure all process issues are identified and met. In this case, however, because of the unique circumstances, the conservator's recommendation was not sought at the appropriate point in the process. I say "unique" because the surrender of the total lease by the club and the grant of a new lease over part of the land back to the club for the same purposes had never occurred previously.

Neither the consultant nor the departmental officers identified the need to formally obtain the written consent from the conservator. Whilst this can be partly excused on the ground that the land did not in reality change ownership or use, I in no way condone the breach of the requirements of the act. I have therefore asked that the procedures used for the grant of the lease be applied in all cases to make sure that this does not occur again.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to advise that the lease is not invalidated by the delay in obtaining the conservator's recommendation. This project is unique in that I think it has the support of both sides of the Assembly. I believe that this is largely due to benefits which flow both to the Deakin residents and the Canberra community as a whole. We take the opportunity to thank Ms Tucker for raising the matter and I will now table the conservator's recommendation.

Papers

Mr Speaker presented the following papers:

Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Act, pursuant to section 8-Authority to broadcast proceedings in relation to:

A public hearing of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for its inquiry on 20 February 2001 into the Defamation Bill 1999, dated 19 February 2001.

Public hearings of the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services for its inquiries into:

2001-02 Draft Budget on 16 and 19 March 2001.

Proposed South Bruce Development on 30 March 2001.

Turner, section 47 on 6 April 2001.

Public hearing of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for its inquiry on 9 and 14 March 2001 into the 2001-02 Draft Budget.


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