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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2249..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

According to the Civic Advance Trends Bulletin of March 1988, the federal Labor government of the day decided to privatise land development in the 1987-88 budget after it lost $15.9 million in 1985-86 and $48.5 million in 1986-87 on land development. Why do you anticipate that this current ACT Labor government will be able to manage land development better now than the federal Labor government was able to in the 1980s?

MR QUINLAN: Let me assure the Assembly. What you will have observed in the budget is that we enter this process in the 2003-2004 financial year. We do so at that time because we want to make sure that we do this in a measured and studied fashion. The transition that will take place will involve, still, some greenfields sales, some joint venture operation and some actual public sector development, so we won't be putting all our eggs in one basket overnight; we will be doing it in a business fashion.

And let me report to you this: I don't know exactly what windfall gains have accrued to developers in recent days, but certainly some of the larger building contractors and developers in town have given me their opinion that it is something that we ought look at. Generally, there's not an overwhelming support, let me say, in the building industry for public sector development, but for joint venture and for the inclusion in the process of more contractors than there have been in the past, rather than just one or two monopolising and dominating the area. That particular sentiment is coming through.

So I believe it is going to take good, sound business management, and I am certainly looking forward to this government being re-elected so that we can continue the process of good, sound management beyond this Assembly so that we can actually make this thing work, and ensure that in fact the asset that is the territory's, that belongs to the people of the ACT, is used to the maximum benefit of the people of the ACT.

MR HUMPHRIES: I ask a supplementary question. Are you saying, Treasurer, that what you've got that the federal Labor government didn't have is good, sound business management? Did your government undertake rigorous financial analysis of this proposal before you made an in-principle decision to go down this path and, if so, will you table that financial analysis in this place?

MR QUINLAN: The answer to the first question is: you betcha. And let me tell you that the people in Treasury have looked at this from every direction, have they not, Mr Corbell?

Mr Corbell: Rigorously.

MR QUINLAN: Quite rigorously examined it. Secondly, it is most unfortunate but I do believe-and I'm not absolutely certain-that the papers were cabinet papers anyway. But I would be disinclined to be tabling our own workings on a regular basis anyway, so that it could be, you know, pored over and picked at down to single numbers. But let me assure you, Mr Humphries, the Treasury people, some of whom will be sitting outside in the anteroom, really went over this one.


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