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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2468..


Land sales

MRS DUNNE

: My question to the Minister for Planning relates to the auction of land at Gungahlin on 11 June. Minister, in response to the question I asked you in this place yesterday about the successful bidder, you said:

... the company that was successful in that auction has paid its $1 million deposit in accordance with the requirements of the contract.

Minister, you are contradicted by the terms and conditions of that contract, which says "The successful bidder must pay a deposit of 10 per cent of the full amount at the time of the auction". Minister, the wording is "must pay a deposit of 10 per cent", and 10 per cent of $38 million is not $1 million.

Minister, there is an apparent contradiction in light of your statement yesterday that the $1 million paid was in accordance with the contract. Does this constitute a misleading of the Assembly on your part?

MR CORBELL

: Mr Speaker, I think I made clear in question time yesterday that it was in fact a part payment and that the full payment was the $3.8 million. If my answer is unclear, I apologise to the Assembly, but I think I did clarify it in a latter answer to Mr Stefaniak.

Mr Speaker, the full deposit is $3.8 million. The successful tenderer has paid $1 million and has to pay the remainder by close of business tomorrow. If they do not then the $1 million they have paid is forfeited to the territory and the land will be re-auctioned.

MRS DUNNE

: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. On whose authority was the $1 million accepted instead of the $3.8 million; how long after the cheque for $3.8 million was dishonoured was the $1 million received; and can you table the advice which supports this action?

Mr Corbell

: Could you repeat the second part of your question?

MRS DUNNE

: How long after the dishonouring of the cheque was the $1 million received, and can you table the advice that supports this action?

MR CORBELL

: In relation to the first part of your question, the moneys were received by the Gungahlin Development Authority. I will have to take the second part of your question on notice and get that timing.

In relation to the third part of your question, you asked me that question yesterday. I am not going to be providing legal advice to the Gungahlin Development Authority when there is the potential for a commercial dispute between different bidders at this time. I am advised that it is possible that some of the unsuccessful tenderers may seek to take legal action. Clearly, it is not in the interests of the government, and therefore not in the public interest, to release at this time the legal advice provided to the GDA by the Government Solicitor.


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