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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 571..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

who occupy most of our accommodation, you will see that they are on a community rate. It is a very cheap rate. But we have to consider how much it costs to allow those buildings to be opened on a cost break-even basis. It is a serious issue, and it has to be costed out because the amount of floor space we let out has to be recovered in the rent. Then we have the situation where community organisation rates will be applied.

We have also got the capital cost to go through, to amend or adjust the floor space to make it suitable for people to go in there. We do not just let out a whole stack of classrooms; they have to be configured differently—and, as I mentioned, some of the infrastructure has to be looked at. We also need to understand that there are planning rules—for example, about the number of car parks per person and all that. All those things have to be satisfied when it is determined whether people go in there or not.

Site by site the community consultation will go on. I can assure everybody that, if it is determined that a school should be sold off by reason of its condition, the consultation process will kick off again.

Once that happens, though, the process is this: my department hands the land across to the LDA. In selling off the land, the LDA would need a territory plan variation. If, for example, older persons' accommodation or some type of residential use were mooted for the land, there would need to be a territory plan variation.

Mrs Dunne: No, not for APUs.

MR HARGREAVES: We believe there would. Then it would go to the planning and environment committee. Again the LDA would do a community consultation on that. So before a school morphs into an older persons' accommodation complex there is an enormous amount of community consultation to be gone through.

The government rejects Mrs Dunne's amendment to my amendment.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.21): Mr Speaker, I believe that while I am speaking to Mrs Dunne's amendment I am also closing the debate on my motion.

MR SPEAKER: That is if nobody else is interested. I think nobody else is interested, so it is over to you, Dr Foskey.

DR FOSKEY: Thank you. I was interested to see Ms Gallagher brought down to bolster the government's arguments in this debate. It is unfortunate that she heard only the last few minutes of my response to the government's amendment and was not really able to consider the substantive parts of my motion, which I believe she may have agreed with. Anyway, given that she participated in the debate, I want to respond to some of the points that she made.

Ms Gallagher said that community groups have been lobbying and submitting plans for use of some of the empty premises that were schools even while the so-called 2020 consultation was in progress. She also made the point that 40 per cent of some organisations' grants from the government go straight to rent and overheads. Of course that is the problem. That is the problem that we are all keen on addressing.


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