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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 2 Hansard (20 February) . .

Page.. 390..

in your agency. Now, under a second Labor-Greens government, the scandals are continuing, including the purchase of multimillion dollar properties on the basis of just one valuation. Chief Minister, why did you secretly approve the purchase of properties using rules that have been subject to extensive criticism and also in the dying days of the LDA?

MR BARR: I did not secretly do anything. The process associated with the acquisition of that land was a thorough one, with board approval by the former Land Development Agency, a business case development assessment by Treasury and a recommendation to me as Treasurer: a perfectly appropriate process.

MR COE: Chief Minister, under current rules, is it legal for the government to purchase a property worth millions of dollars with just one valuation?

MR BARR: The government continues to pursue the acquisition of land where necessary in order to meet—

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: I've got two minutes; you can listen. The government seeks to meet future land release needs and future environmental offset needs through the acquisition of land through a variety of means and processes that the Leader of the Opposition would be well aware of.

Mr Coe: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Coe.

Mr Coe: It is on relevance. The question was: is it legal for the government to purchase a property worth millions of dollars with just one valuation? To date, the minister has not answered that.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think he made reference to the processes that are available to him, but you may choose to add to that, Chief Minister. Do you have anything to add, Chief Minister?

MR BARR: I will let you finish your point.

MADAM SPEAKER: I would also refer members to 117(c)(iii), which states that questions shall not ask ministers for a legal opinion. The Chief Minister may want to consider that in his reply, should he wish to use his 44 seconds.

MR BARR: Indeed, yes; with respect to the observation you made, the Leader of the Opposition would appear to be seeking a legal opinion. Of course, laws do not apply retrospectively.

MS LE COUTEUR: Chief Minister, what was reason for buying this land? In other words, what was the government planning to do with the land?

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