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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1822..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Koomarri was made, and no-one seemed to have a problem with that in 2000. So hindsight is a wonderful thing, Mr Corbell.

Then, to go back to more recent history, apparently the government knew of what was happening back in November 2005. So there has been a series of, shall we say, problems along the way. But we need to find a solution, and I am pleased that the government is pursuing efforts to find one. That is a positive sign. I was pleased to hear the Chief Minister say that he is having ongoing discussions with the new owner of the caravan park. That needs to continue as well. Yes, whatever happens will probably cost some money.

It seems to me that the best solution at this time would be a land swap with the current owner, whereby he could walk away from the park and receive in exchange land of equal value and use somewhere else in the territory. I understand that is not necessarily an impossible occurrence. I also understand that that is something the current owner would consider and, indeed, if that came to pass, be quite happy with. That seems to me to be the best possible way out of this situation.

I have already spoken about the nature of the park. Some people have been there for many years. There are some elderly people there. I think we only have two such places in the territory. It is necessary to have low-cost accommodation in the territory. There are some significant problems in relation to low-cost accommodation, and they would be exacerbated if the park were to go. Possible solutions include moving people to other low-cost accommodation.

I have had a couple of interesting suggestions about solving this problem put to me, and I am certainly happy to pass them on to the government. But the simplest solution, I submit, would be a straight land swap. That would, I think, basically satisfy most sides in this imbroglio. That is why the opposition has moved this amendment. I commend the amendment to members.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.56): On this very busy day, I am pleased that members have taken the time to address this motion. I know that this matter has probably been on people's minds for some time. I am pleased to support the motion, as amended by the government. I am, however, very disappointed that, even if it cannot agree to right the wrong that was done in 2000, the Liberal opposition has not taken the opportunity to try and explain why a piece of valuable land was given away for $1 without thought to what might happen after five years.

Mr Smyth interjecting-

DR FOSKEY: It is a bit longer than an electoral cycle-quite long-term thinking for some politicians. But it went very quickly for the people in the Narrabundah long-stay park. There was no thought given to that decision, and I am very sorry that Mr Smyth has not explained today what motivated him and his government then. I know that we had a government that was into giving away public property for the public good, but in this case there was no thought of the public good and no thought of the government's bottom line. There is a big area there. We would love to see the documents. I do not think we will get to the bottom of this for a while.


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