Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1558..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
require the land to be returned to the government at reasonable cost and managed as social housing?
MR CORBELL: The government does have powers to acquire land for public purposes. That is outlined in legislation. But the issue that the government has to address now is that a previous government decided that this site should be sold and transferred to another person's ownership, another entity's ownership. That entity has now decided to sell to a new owner and the new owner has decided not to renew the tenancy arrangements of the existing tenants.
My view is that the government should bring full force to bear on the new owner to act in a way that is consistent with their lease purpose clause. The reality is we have a caravan park existing in the ACT. That is what the lease has been granted for—a caravan park. The owner has purchased it on the basis that it is a caravan park, and I am going to indicate to the owner that the government is certainly not in any way inclined to permit it to be used for anything other than a caravan park and, therefore, they should take appropriate steps to ensure that they abide by their lease purpose clause. That is where the responsibility now lies.
The decision to sell is a decision that has been made. We believe it was the wrong decision, but there is no walking away from the fact that that is what now has occurred. It is not a failing on the part of this government that those tenants are now in this situation. The way those tenants have been treated is, quite frankly, unacceptable. The government will use all avenues open to it to require the existing owner, the new owner, to uphold their responsibilities to run this facility as a caravan park. Hopefully that will mean that the tenants who are currently living there will continue to have an opportunity to live there.
Corrective services—prison cost
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to Mr Corbell in his capacity as minister for corrective services. The original cost of the prison was $110 million in 2001 dollar terms. That cost has been upgraded to $128 million in 2004 dollar terms. How much will the prison cost in 2006 dollar terms? Will it be delivered on time and on budget?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Stefaniak for the question. The simple answer to that is that the government has decided that the prison project will be delivered within the existing budget provisions. That will be how the prison is delivered. That is $128.6 million precisely. They are the parameters that I and the previous minister, Mr Stanhope, have given to the project team for the delivery of the prison. A prison will be delivered within that budget. Currently, the project is on track to open towards the end of the next calendar year.
MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, minister. If the project looks like going over budget, what will be cut from it?
MR CORBELL: At this stage, the tender process for the construction of the actual buildings for the Alexander Maconochie Centre, or AMC, has been completed. Members may have noticed that a large amount of infrastructure work has already been completed.