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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2198..


MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

Mr Berry seems to be of the opinion that the presence of a staffer at any meeting constitutes political interference in the course of that meeting, whether that meeting is part of an ongoing investigation or not. This is strange, coming from a member, Mr Berry, who was well known, if not infamous, for sending staff members to meetings involving officials of agencies under his responsibility. As far as I am concerned, this is just a grubby, childish attempt to grasp any opportunity, or should I say make any opportunity, to score cheap personal points. I caution members, though, that the investigation commenced by ACT WorkCover, of which this interview was part, is continuing. I have been careful in answering this question because of that fact. I will not prejudice any ongoing investigation. Similarly, I remind members that there is a claim for unfair dismissal before a court, and matters arising out of that claim are now sub judice.

Leasehold Administration

MR MOORE: My question is to the Chief Minister and refers to the report on the administration of ACT leasehold that she released today. Chief Minister, recommendations 3, 4, and 5 read, respectively:

3. the public leasehold system be retained and the Government actively promote and explain the system both inside and outside the ACT in order to seek to attract and encourage investment.

4. the four identified objectives of the ACT leasehold system be included as the guiding principles of the Land Act in order to assist in interpretation and administration.

5. the ACT not seek to change its form of land tenure to freehold or perpetual leasehold.

Will the Chief Minister accept the umpire's decision and now work to enhance the leasehold system, consistent with the Stein report?

MRS CARNELL: The report, as Mr Moore is aware, was tabled only this morning, so a Government response has not yet been written. I will give the Assembly an undertaking that this Government will be working within the recommendations of the Stein report to ensure that certainty - one of the overriding factors the Stein report talks about all the time - is achieved. The Stein report is very clear about its attitude to the leasehold system. The Liberal Party has a policy which suggests that we should move to leases in perpetuity or a freehold system, if the Commonwealth were amenable; but we said right from the beginning, when we moved down the path of this inquiry, that we were willing to work within the results of this inquiry to achieve the things we all want, and the things we all want are certainty and a real future for this city.

MR MOORE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. To achieve that certainty, Chief Minister, I presume that you will work within your party to get a policy that is consistent with the recommendations and very strong arguments put by Justice Stein.


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