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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2290..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

This is a comprehensive negotiation and the government has put forward what we believe is an extremely competitive offer. The government has made four adjustments to its offer in response to requests from the ANF and also in response to issues that have emerged as a result of pay increases being offered and accepted in other jurisdictions. So the government has demonstrated its willingness to compromise and be sensible in its approach on these issues.

Regrettably, we still have not reached agreement. But I hope that the nurses union will demonstrate its willingness to reach agreement on those outstanding issues so that nurses can receive the significant pay increases and conditions of employment changes that they so rightly deserve.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, why will you not withdraw your threatening letter sent to nurses warning them that their back pay will not be paid if they do not sign up to the EBA by 25 June?

MR CORBELL: It is simply part of the negotiating process that the government puts on the table what it believes are fair and reasonable conditions. The negotiations have now been ongoing since late November last year-over six months-and this is a reasonable period in which to finalise the agreement. The back pay offer is made on that basis.

Phillip oval

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Planning Minister, Mr Corbell, and is in regard to the sale of Phillip oval. Minister, did you or your office coerce, bully, apply pressure to or attempt to influence ACTAFL in any way to sell Phillip oval to the government, a sale that was at a price well below market value?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, no. My government, I or my office was not involved in any way, or bullied or coerced ACTAFL. I have to correct Mrs Cross on another point. ACTAFL has not sold their lease to the government; ACTAFL has surrendered it, with compensation for improvements which have been assessed by an independent valuer. The government is not obliged, in a surrender situation, to pay the market value for the site. It is not a sale; it is a surrender, with compensation for improvements that have been made by ACTAFL. That assessment of improvements was done by an independent valuer, and that is the amount of compensation which the territory has offered to ACTAFL.

Mr Quinlan: They still have Manuka.

MR CORBELL: As my colleague Mr Quinlan points out, they continue, of course, to have access to Manuka as well as to Phillip oval itself for the purposes of Australian football league activities.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Cross?

MRS CROSS: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, what actions on your behalf were taken to ensure that ACTAFL surrendered the land to the government at a price that was considerably lower than other offers?

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