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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 3759..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

... suggesting to the LDA that the auction be cancelled or postponed and undertaking a variation to the Territory Plan.

Mr Stefaniak then asked:

... why did you and your agencies ignore the advice of your own legal team and continue with the auction when there were clearly issues of concern surrounding it?

The advice that Mr Stefaniak tabled yesterday did not recommend unilaterally that that was the course of action that should be taken. In fact, the quote from Mr Stefaniak was only the second half of one sentence; the first half of that sentence indicated that ACTPLA and the LDA could advise bidders to rely on their own legal advice. There was a range of options presented by the government solicitor.

Mr Seselja: Did they know about the advice or not?

MR CORBELL: I will come to that, Mr Seselja. A range of options was presented by the government solicitor. They ranged from advising bidders to rely on their own legal advice to not proceeding with the auction and varying the territory plan. That was the range of options presented by the government solicitor. As members would be aware, the ACT Planning and Land Authority advised bidders to rely on their own advice, which is also consistent with the recommendations of the government solicitor. At no time was there advice from the government solicitor that said, "This is the option you should pursue."A range of options was put and ACTPLA took one of those.

When Mr Stefaniak asked the question yesterday, I took his question at face value. Perhaps I should not have. I have never been aware of explicit advice from the GSO that has said, "Do not proceed with the auction,"because no such advice has ever been received. But that was the nature of Mr Stefaniak's question. On those grounds, I said that I am not aware of any such advice. And I am not aware of any such advice to that degree.

But I am aware of the advice tabled yesterday by Mr Stefaniak. I have seen that advice previously. As I have now explained, that advice presents a range of options to the planning authority. The planning authority took one of those options. But it is not the one that Mr Stefaniak referred to in his question yesterday.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, given that you had seen the legal advice prior to the auction, did you personally instruct ACTPLA and/or the LDA to press on with the auction process?

MR CORBELL: No, I did not.

Canberra Hospital—methadone program

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Health and is in regard to arrangements over the Christmas period and beyond at Canberra Hospital. I have been informed that the cut-off period for people wanting to access the buprenorphine


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