Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4181 ..
Madam Speaker presented the following paper:
Estimates 2018-2019—Select Committee—Stromlo Leisure Centre pool—Clarification—Letter to the Speaker from the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, dated 22 October 2018.
Government Agencies (Land Acquisition Reporting) Bill 2018
Debate resumed from 1 August 2018, on motion by Mr Coe:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (3.18): The Greens will be supporting this bill in principle. I understand that the ALP and the Liberal Party have agreed to defer the detail stage to next week to allow the ALP to put forward amendments, and the Greens will also support that deferral. It is, of course, very sensible to give members time to actually look at and read amendments before debating them.
I would like to thank Mr Coe for bringing this bill forward. It is exactly the sort of thing the Greens would have done if we had more private members’ business. The need for more transparency about ACT government land acquisitions has been really striking over the past couple of years. There have been three separate Auditor-General reports basically on that subject. There is clearly a need here.
First, we had the report on certain land development agency acquisitions in September 2016. Members will recall that this looked into three land acquisitions: one at Glebe Park and two at West Basin. The conclusion of the report says:
Transparency, accountability and rigour have been lacking in the processes used by the Land Development Agency for acquiring the three sites and two associated businesses …
Second, in February this year we had the report on the sale process for the land in Dickson commonly known as the Tradies car park. While this was a land sale process, part of the price paid by the winning tenderer, the Tradies club, was two pieces of land near Dickson pool, so in fact it was also a land acquisition. What did the Auditor-General have to say about the acquisition side of the deal? Again, I will quote:
There is a high risk that … the commercial terms of the sale of Block 6 Section 72 resulted in the Territory paying above valuation with conditions that offered no … additional value to the Territory but benefited the Tradies.
You might ask what this has to do with transparency. To get the information about this acquisition, Mr Coe had to use a private members’ motion to require the government to produce the documents. The Greens, of course, supported the Liberals