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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 1993) . . Page.. 2262 ..

It is very difficult to see a basis for the Government to intervene in these kinds of developments. In broad terms, Madam Speaker, we regularly see developments and increasing sophistication in retailing and in the provision of services to the community, and we must not overlook the fact that in most cases these changes almost invariably benefit the consumer. They would not be successful if that were not the case. Madam Speaker, I do understand that this adjustment could cause specific difficulties and if that is the case we will certainly try to be supportive wherever that is possible. If difficulties arise in issues such as payment of rates and so on we can address specific remedies to those specific issues, but the Government cannot take the position that whenever change is foreshadowed in an industry we immediately legislate or intervene in some way in order to preserve a status quo.

Kurrajong Hotel

MR KAINE: I would like to address a question to Mr Wood, the Minister for Education. Mr Wood, in about the middle of July there was a report in the local print media that the Government was negotiating to complete the purchase of the historic Kurrajong Hotel site from the Commonwealth at a price of just over $1m. Can you inform us whether those negotiations are complete? Has the Commonwealth sold us the Kurrajong Hotel? If so, at what price? Finally, from which program in the ACT budget has the money come to pay for it?

MR WOOD: Madam Speaker, there was an announcement in the press. Obviously there were some negotiations being done in some measure of confidence. They are not top secret or anything; but, when a reporter from the Canberra Times came across this information, obviously we provided it and thus the article was run. The process is not yet complete. The figure is $1m. Obviously we are dealing with the Federal Government in that matter. We have yet to sign on the dotted line for that, although I should expect that that is not far away. It will be a capital acquisition, Mr Kaine, but I will provide you with more detail, I think, within a pretty short space of time when the matter is about to be signed. I might add that it is a competitive field. There is a group in South Australia moving in the same direction and we did not want to signal our punches to other bodies, that we were going to be a competitor. We are negotiating with international bodies concerning the relevant courses, to draw on what they do. There has been some measure, as I said, of some restriction in what we have been able to do publicly.

MR KAINE: I have a supplementary question, Madam Speaker. Minister, I would be interested to know from which part of the capital program the money is going to come, and I am sure you will tell me later. In the feasibility study that was done to determine whether this was a goer or not, was this capital cost included in the calculations or excluded from it?

MR WOOD: Yes, there has been a very extensive feasibility study, Mr Kaine. It has been costed in very great detail. The major factor was the potential for enrolments. It is a full fee-paying course. In that whole context the capital component is a relatively smaller part, but all factors, obviously, have been taken into account in that feasibility study.

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