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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1629..


MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the figure that Mr Cornwell alludes to, as I understand it, was included in an incoming government brief which I received. I would have to say that, based on my most recent advice, the figure is greatly exaggerated. That is, of course, a result of the fact that when that figure was prepared, no detailed work had been done within government on the implementation of the Labor Party's policy to restore land development responsibility to the government. As a result, it is an indicative figure and a figure, I can advise members, that is grossly exaggerated.

Mr Speaker, the government is currently considering its options in relation to the resumption of government land development. Those matters are before the cabinet currently and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on material that is before the cabinet.

The Master Builders Association's and the HIA's advertisements are simplistic and misleading because they fail on at least one key test. The one key test that I would put up, amongst a range of others, is this: what is going to be the improved return to the Canberra community of the government resuming land development? Members would have seen a report in the paper today in which I am quoted as indicating that if the government was to resume full land development responsibility, the amount of revenue the ACT community would receive each year would double in relation to its land sales. That would be a significant benefit to the Canberra community.

It is in the public interest to ensure that we make sure, as the government, that the return on the land asset to the community is maximised in a responsible way. That is one of the objectives we are seeking to achieve in relation to government land development and we will continue to focus on that objective.

MR CORNWELL: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Mr Corbell, did you say that the MBA/HIA estimate was grossly exaggerated or just exaggerated? I don't want to misquote you. Would you mind advising this Assembly what the figure was that you were provided with, and what was the funding basis on which it was reached?

MR CORBELL: I have just answered that question.

MR SPEAKER: That question has been fully answered.

University of Canberra

MS TUCKER: My question to the Chief Minister and Attorney-General concerns the relationship between the ACT government and the University of Canberra. As the Chief Minister would be aware, the University of Canberra was established under an act of the Assembly and half the University Council is appointed by him. The Chief Minister would also be aware of claims of fraudulent acts by employees or members of the University of Canberra Union board.

He should also know that members of the Postgraduate Students Association feel under continual attack from the university due to the fact they have raised, and continue to raise, concerns regarding: the management of the Canberra University Union; the processes adopted by the University Council in dealing with these issues; and what they see as a diminishing commitment to sustainability in the university's teachings and


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