Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1711..
Ms Dundas: No you didn't.
Ms Burke: In a word, no.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Quinlan has the floor.
MR QUINLAN: It is a fairly simple matter.
Mr Smyth: Well, make it a simple answer.
MR QUINLAN: The answer was simple as well. I cannot make it any more simple. There are a few pieces of land around the ACT that the Commonwealth has put up for sale since the time of our budget, changing the opportunity for the government in respect of the placement of a centre of excellence. Therefore, it is absolute commonsense that we buy that land.
It is not necessary to appropriate money for that land because it is in the budget and because we are only changing the form of asset. We are not spending any more money; we are not absorbing any more of the territory's resources. We are just changing cash for land. We can then use that land-a bigger parcel of land beyond the $4 million piece of section 61-to accommodate the centre of excellence. We expect that that will be in the vicinity of $10 worth of land all up. So the purchase of land is a quite separate issue. The giving of the land to the centre of excellence was not foreseen at the time of the budget because it was not on the market. The Department of Finance probably had not even decided to sell it when we brought our budget down.
Ms Dundas: So the $10 million asset was not expended?
MR QUINLAN: Is that a supplementary, supplementary? Next time that you think there is some form of deep dark scandal in relation to land deals, come and see us and ask about it. If needs be, if there is some confidential information, we will keep that information confidential to you.
Woden police station
MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Mr Wood. Mr Wood, this government replaced plans for a Woden Joint Emergency Services Centre, which the Canberra Liberals had estimated would cost $8 million, with a Woden police station, originally estimated to cost $5 million. Next year's budget now estimates that this will cost $7.3 million. Why have you replaced plans to build a joint emergency services centre at a cost of $8 million with a police station at a cost of $7.3 million, when it will house only one service rather than three?
MR WOOD: There is no problem at all in that, Mr Speaker. You are assuming that those costs would not indicate that they are not indicative figures-it is as simple as that. A careful study, when we get down the track, indicates what the real cost would be.
Mr Smyth: So we cannot trust your numbers?