Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1225..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
as schools, retail centres and new infrastructure-all works that would have to be paid for by territory taxpayers. They are the consequences we face with the Commonwealth's refusal to undertake a cooperative approach to releasing land. They impose very tight time frames with their decision to release land.
The Department of Finance is simply pursuing mechanisms to get a bit of cash in their coffers before the end of the financial year. They are not taking account of the broader planning objectives in the territory. They are not taking account of the costs they will be subsequently imposing on territory taxpayers. Most importantly, they are not taking account of the very clear understanding that if the Commonwealth no longer needs that land it should be returned to the territory to be part of the normal, planned and orderly release of land in the territory.
MS GALLAGHER: I ask a supplementary question. Can the minister outline what action the ACT government has taken in relation to the sites recently proposed for sale by the Commonwealth in Civic and Tuggeranong?
MR CORBELL: As I have already outlined, the Commonwealth's indiscriminate proposals to sell land simply to try to find some cash can and will have significant impacts on the territory's long-term plans for the development of the city. The territory will be exercising all possible options to prevent these sales from occurring, to make sure that the interests of the territory are best served and that the consequences of ad hoc sales are avoided.
We need to respond to this fire sale, which is the only way to describe it, of land in Canberra. The site in Civic is an important element in the planning for the area known as Civic West and is currently under consideration as part of the Civic West master plan. The Commonwealth has ignored this planning exercise, even though the National Capital Authority has been directly involved in the master planning exercise. You have one Commonwealth agency cooperating in planning and another Commonwealth agency selling the land. That is not an approach which this government thinks demonstrates serious goodwill on the part of the federal government.
The Commonwealth ignored the master planning issues and advised the ACT of its intention to sell the land immediately prior to its proposal to advertise the sale of the land in the press. I can inform members that the ACT government, in response to that, immediately wrote to advise the Commonwealth that the land could be subject to a variation to the Territory Plan as a result of the master planning process and that the Commonwealth should advise any prospective purchasers of that land of that possibility. As a result of those actions, the Commonwealth withdrew the advertisement for the sale of that site.
The impact of the Tuggeranong development is still being fully assessed by ACT government agencies, but until last night there had been no consultation with the territory on its planned uses. The National Capital Authority has written to Planning and Land Management providing a draft lease and other documents for the proposed sale of the site. As I have indicated, this advice was received yesterday. There has been no offer to sell the Tuggeranong land to the territory, despite the Commonwealth minister making claims to the contrary.