Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2567..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
As I said before, there are two possibilities. One is that a draft of a letter which was never provided or sent containing reference to a sum of $16 million and an offer of $16 million has been provided to the Canberra Times, with an assertion by the person who provided it that this was the letter provided to me, to the government; or, alternatively, that the letter has been forged. I have the original of the letter on which the Canberra Times relied which contains no reference to an offer of any sort or $16 million. (Time expired.)
MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?
MS HUNTER: Can the Chief Minister explain why the selling agent advised my office this week that blocks 9 and 11 had been sold as one lot?
MR STANHOPE: I will have to take advice. As I say, Ms Hunter, I have not retained information in relation to the nature or the configuration of the land that was sold, but I am more than happy to provide for you the basis of the decision taken by the LDA in relation to the land that was identified for sale and made available for sale and which was ultimately sold.
As I say, I am more than happy to take advice, too, from my officials in relation to the correspondence that it had been alleged to the Canberra Times purported to contain an offer of $16 million. I can provide you with the original letter. I can do that, but I will just check in relation to issues around privacy and confidentiality.
I have a letter from the proponents which is not the same as the letter which was provided by somebody to the Canberra Times. The Canberra Times relied on the draft unsigned letter which they had and which was represented to them by their informant as a true copy of the letter that was sent to the government. That claim was false. The letter is false. The letter is either an early, not sent draft or a forgery. The letter that was provided to me by the proponents makes no reference to $16 million at all.
As I have explained in my responses to this, we do not sell land on that basis—ever. We do not—ever. It is unfortunate that people have been misled in the way that they have in relation to this matter.
Planning—Exhibition Park in Canberra
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation. Minister, yesterday you revealed that the Stanhope-Gallagher government is seeking four new members for the board of the Exhibition Park Corporation. You also announced that a community advisory committee for Exhibition Park would be established. Minister, why are you proposing to establish a new committee for Exhibition Park when you could nominate some people from the community on to the board of the corporation?
MR BARR: It is the government's view that, given the Assembly's position in relation to the way forward for Exhibition Park, it would be appropriate to expand the