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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 2 Hansard (2 March) . . Page.. 470..


MRS CROSS (continuing):

residential blocks on the Belconnen golf course, despite the fact that no development was proposed at the time. Chief Minister, what is the government's position on Mr O'Keefe's proposal for an aged persons residential development at the Belconnen golf course?

MR CORBELL: I am happy to answer Mrs Cross's question. Mr O'Keefe, as Mrs Cross outlined in her preamble, approached the government at some stage early last year with a proposal to develop part of the fairway of the Belconnen golf course for a range of housing, including some aged care accommodation. The government at that time, and I as the responsible minister, indicated to Mr O'Keefe very directly, and in a quite immediate way, that the government did not support the proposal, for the reasons that I outlined in the letter. I made reference to the commitment that you, Mr Speaker, gave, on behalf of the Labor Party at that time prior to the election, that we would not support development on that site. Mr O'Keefe subsequently wrote back to me, asking that I reconsider the matter-and he has done that on a number of occasions in the past 12 months. I have met with Mr O'Keefe on a number of occasions, and I am still not satisfied that the government is in a position to justify a change of direction from that which has been outlined to Mr O'Keefe in writing.

What the government has done has been to make sure that we have a range of sites available for aged care accommodation. Indeed, we have, for the first time in terms of any government action, made sure that we have a land bank of sites to make provision for aged care accommodation. There is a 100-bed site at Nicholls and a 100-bed site in Greenway. There is work happening on other sites in Gordon and Monash for independent living units. On top of that, the government is progressing the release of a site on the foreshores of Lake Ginninderra. Those are sites that, all-up, will accommodate at least 300, maybe 400, beds.

The government is building that land bank to make sure that we have land available, and we are progressing the planning in a very timely way to make sure that it is available for release as demand is there from future providers. The government is treating seriously the issue of land supply for aged care development, but it does not mean that we will automatically tick every proposal that comes along, especially when it is in contradiction of commitments given by the party-now the government-prior to the last election.

MRS CROSS: This is an interesting question time, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Come to your question, please.

MRS CROSS: Chief Minister, given that I asked the question of you, I would like to ask you the supplementary: do you stand by the comments you made in the letter you sent to Mr David O'Keefe on 28 January:

The government will shortly be reviewing your proposal and I expect that the assessment will be finalised in the near future.

If not, has the government formally said "no"to the Madison Lifestyle Communities proposal and, if so, when did the government formally advise Madison of this, Chief Minister?


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