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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2284..


Vandalism of Chapman building

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister for housing. I was disturbed to see in Sunday's Canberra Times an article about a building in Chapman that had been damaged by vandalism. What will happen to this wonderful asset in the future?

MR WOOD

: That property, which many of you may know, was formerly leased by Disability Programs. It was vacated in May 2000 as residents were moved into smaller units provided by ACT Housing. It is a large property in a wonderful setting. Several groups undertook feasibility studies to see whether it suited their purposes, but it did not.

In July 2002 it was decided to use the property as a boarding house for older women escaping family breakdowns, including victims of elder abuse and domestic violence. The plight of older women escaping family breakdown, including that violence, poses difficulties. There are women's refuges in the ACT, but they are used mainly by younger women with children, escaping domestic violence, and they have not been found to be appropriate for this older age group, many of whom could be from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Transfield, one of ACT Housing's total facilities managers, has commenced management of the refurbishment works for the boarding house. It has engaged architects to design and document the refurbishment. I understand that tenders have been called for the refurbishment construction works. It is intended that the successful construction tenderer-I am not sure when that will be decided or announced-will commence work in mid-July and complete construction in approximately five months. By that time, this property will be returned to a very useful and identified need in this community.

MR HARGREAVES

: I have a supplementary question. Minister, what is being done about the vandalism? How will the property be protected?

MR WOOD

: The protection of the property has been raised by a number of people, including my colleague Mr Quinlan. Housing has taken action to secure the property with perimeter fencing and it has boarded up the windows to prevent unauthorised access. Security patrols also have been arranged. Nearby residents have been or will be informed of these arrangements and asked to contact the security firm or a designated officer in ACT Housing if they see anything that disturbs them.

Land sales

MR STEFANIAK: My question is also to the Minister for Planning in relation to the Harrison 1 estate land sale of 11 June. Minister, under the terms and conditions circulated to potential bidders by the Gungahlin Development Authority there is this clause:

The Successful Bidder must pay a deposit equal to 10% of the full amount bid at the time of the auction and the balance of the purchase price within 56 days from the date of the auction. Note that if the balance of the bid is not paid the deposit cannot be recovered from the Authority. Any failure to pay the balance due or part thereof will constitute a breach of condition of the agreement.


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