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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . .

Page.. 2047..

Leave of absence

Motion (by Ms Burch) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted for all members for the period 5 June to 3 August 2015.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Planning and Development (University of Canberra and Other Leases) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Debate resumed from 14 May 2015, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.11): Consistent with earlier statements on related issues, the opposition will be opposing the Planning and Development (University of Canberra and Other Leases) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The opposition have serious concerns about the impact of this bill on planning and development in the ACT, but especially on the Belconnen town centre.

This bill creates a new category of lease for land, a sublease. Under this bill, holders of a sublease will have the same rights and responsibilities as holders of a lease. Land at the University of Canberra is currently held under a perpetual crown lease. Subdivision of this lease would see the university lose the perpetual status of that lease. Therefore the government has come up with a new way to allow the University of Canberra to retain its privileged status when it comes to the lease for the property, but also, in the government's terms, to exploit its land.

Subleases will have to be registered so that the terms and record of title will be publicly available. Development applications will have to be signed by both the crown lessee, the University of Canberra, and the sublessee so that the University of Canberra retains control over what is built on its site.

The ability to sublease land will be available for any block of land in the territory. However, the ability to unit title the subleased land will only be available to holders of a "declared crown lease". The planning minister and another minister will make declarations that a prescribed crown lease is a "declared crown lease". This only applies to the University of Canberra and potentially the Australian National University.

If the sublessee wants to unit title the parcel under a sublease, the crown lessee must consent in writing to the unit titling application before ACTPLA will approve it. Under this bill the University of Canberra retains its exemption from rates and other taxes. However, apparently, sublessees will be subject to normal rates and duties.

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