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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 2535..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

be pleased to take questions that may have been directed to the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health. I will seek to be of whatever assistance I can.

Questions without notice

Planning—EpiCentre lease

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Planning. It relates to EpiCentre. Minister, you said on WIN news last night that no-one had a pre application meeting. An ACTPLA document dated 4 October and clearly marked "pre app meeting"contradicts your statement, it would seem. Minister, why did you say that no pre application meeting took place when clearly ACTPLA's own records show that it did? I seek leave to table that record.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: The point I was making was that there was no development application lodged, nor could there have been, because you cannot lodge a development application without owning the land. The land was not sold, so no-one could own it. So no-one lodged a development application over it. To the extent that a pre application meeting could be held, given the prospect of a development application, that clearly was not the case.

But clearly a conversation took place between Austexx and the planning and land authority in the same way that conversations took place between one other bidder, the Canberra International Airport, and one other party initially interested in the site, ING. That is a very common and routine process. There is absolutely nothing suspicious in a potential bidder doing a due diligence assessment with officers of the planning and land authority, and that is what occurred at this time.

MR STEFANIAK: I ask a supplementary question. Minister, whom are we to believe—the official records or your own version of events?

MR CORBELL: I have answered the question.

Economy—wage price index

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. Given that the government expects to make an additional $19,326,000 in the forward years to the 2009-10 financial year by using the wage price index, WPI, instead of the consumer price index, CPI, in relation to increased rates and charges, how does the Treasurer contemplate people on fixed incomes, self-funded retirees and others will cope with the increases when they do not enjoy the benefits of increases to wages and rely instead on the CPI at best?

MR STANHOPE: I find it a remarkable position that the shadow treasurer puts. It continues this fiction that somehow in the ACT we can find, for the purchase or payment of government services, money out of thin air. The wage price index is a far better reflection of the cost of government service delivery than measurements against the CPI. It is all right for him to suggest that the ACT government will deliver government services at a certain cost—and, as we know, the greatest cost in the delivery of government services is wages—but we will deliver government services at a level


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