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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 238..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Importantly, because of the targeting of the priority housing category, there is now greater movement in the waiting list, including the ability to house applicants in the next highest need category, high needs, than has been achieved in recent years.

The changes to the targeting of public housing recognise that public housing can no longer be all things to all people. Within finite resources we need to concentrate on what we can do-and can do well-to support those in our community. (Time expired.)

Land use policy

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.26): In last Wednesday's urgent removal of appeal rights debate I was prevented from speaking just as I was about to table Austexx's legal advice stating that a large retail or brand depot development, "would not be a permissible use of the site under the current planning controls". I seek leave to table this document now.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: I table the following document:

Epicentre-Block 8 section 48, Fyshwick-copy of letter from Mr Richard Lancaster to Mr Geoff Porz and Ms Amanda Johns, Austexx Developments Pty Ltd, dated 4 October 2005.

This document explains why Austexx had to come back to ACTPLA again and again-five times apparently-to seek reassurance that its, Austexx's, legal advice was wrong and that if it won the bidding it would in fact be permitted to develop a factory outlet and retail development, even though the LDA advertised the site as a bulky goods opportunity.

The Attorney-General said that AD(JR) is the appropriate venue for challenging purportedly improper exercises of executive power. He knows full well that an AAT merits review would investigate all aspects of the EpiCentre sale decision making process, not just the narrow, technical, administrative law issues at issue in an AD(JR) action and not just the narrow grounds touched upon by the Auditor-General.

The government says it was vindicated by the Auditor-General's report. This is a remarkable statement given the fact that with the benefit of hindsight, and after having examined all the evidence, including several legal advices, she was "unable to offer a conclusive interpretation of this aspect of the Territory Plan". The Auditor-General also found that "LDA did not communicate certain relevant planning information to all registered bidders, as expected under better practice."But because she found that no-one intended to advantage Austexx over its competitors she considered that there had been no preferential treatment. This is a pretty fine semantic point. It is a semantic point that would carry little substantive weight if it was ever considered by the AAT.

This is not something that the government should be proud of. The Attorney-General said I was referring to Mr Snow's legal advice about land use policy in Fyshwick; he


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