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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4433..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

This is just a practical measure-taken on very short notice because we are now coming to a particular problem that has just emerged-to allow us the flexibility to introduce the first level of water restrictions at a date when it is appropriate to advise the public.

I do not know whether you have got a problem with that. If I should have given forward notification of such a momentous announcement, I apologise, but I thought I would just pay the Assembly the courtesy of advising them on the last day of sitting.

Questions without notice

Land development

MR CORBELL: At question time yesterday, Ms Tucker asked me a question about the leasehold by the Hungarian-Australian Club. I answered most of this question yesterday evening but, for completeness of answer, I now advise Ms Tucker and members that the advice I have received on terminating or acquiring a lease is set out in legislation under the land act and the Lands Acquisition Act. The Lands Acquisition Act specifies conditions for acquisition and sets out that in such circumstances the territory has to pay market value for the land and improvements on it.

Given the outline of the requirements under the Lands Acquisition Act, there is no reason to terminate the lease for the Hungarian-Australian Club and therefore no capacity for the government to acquire it.

ACT Housing-Treasurer's Advance

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Dunne, Mr Humphries, Mr Pratt, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion. In accordance with the provisions of standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mrs Dunne be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The legality of the Treasurer's advance of $10 million to ACT Housing in June 2002.

MRS DUNNE (4.28): Mr Speaker, each of us here holds in our hands something very fragile and something very precious. It is not lightly bestowed and it can be quickly taken back. Like a butterfly, it is easily damaged in our grasp if we are not careful in our custody and mindful of its fragility.

Mr Speaker, that of which I am speaking is the public trust. We are its custodians, its guardians. When that trust is shaken, we are all diminished, individually and collectively. The institution of which we are a part and whose reputation we are pledged to uphold is damaged if we fall short, even by the slightest bit, of the absolute standards required.

The trust bestowed to our keeping is as inflexible as love was to Shakespeare. Trust is not trust:


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