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MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, this is properly a question in my portfolio, as I am responsible for making available land for additional developments. I am also responsible, and have been responsible for the last few months, for overviewing a process of conducting a study into the retail needs of the ACT. Members might have seen media reports which referred to the release of a report, which I think was commissioned by Mr Wood originally, by a firm called Ibecon, which analysed the retail needs of the ACT and particularly looked at the question of what demands were being placed on existing retailers in the next five or so years, what demands we could expect to be placed on future retailing needs, and, on a centre-by-centre basis around the Territory, what kind of retailing requirements were appropriate into the future.
It is particularly relevant in the case of the extension of the Tuggeranong Hyperdome. As members might also be aware, the Government announced that, at this stage, it would not be accepting an application by Leda Holdings to extend the Tuggeranong Hyperdome, because we believed that it had significant opportunity to damage the financial standing of small retailers in local and group shopping centres around the Tuggeranong Valley. One thing that the Ibecon study did certainly confirm was that any extension to retail food outletting in the Tuggeranong Hyperdome would not be to the advantage of local and group centres in the rest of the Tuggeranong Valley. That is a view that accords with my party's view about the way in which we should be protecting those local centres. Mr Speaker, my party's policy is very clear. We will use those retail studies to develop a retail strategy. The studies themselves will be used to do that, as will a social impact study into the way in which changing allocation of shops around the Territory affects the amenity of suburbs. By putting that information together, we will be able to develop a retail strategy for the Territory. I will have more to say about that in a statement that I will be making tomorrow.
Mr Speaker, in respect of Manuka, it is true that the Government has received a request for an expansion of retailing space in Manuka - in particular, a request by Woolworths at Manuka to be able to locate their supermarket across the road and to expand its size. The usual procedure for that kind of development is to put the matter out to an expression of interest so that we can see what other interest there is in the marketplace for that kind of work. Obviously, nobody has a right to an expansion by themselves. No-one can assume that, if they get a bigger size allocated for, say, retail food outletting in a particular place, they are necessarily going to be the ones to take on that retailing. But it is appropriate for us to work out what the market is requiring and is interested in at this stage, and that is why this process is being undertaken.
Capital Works Program
MS McRAE: My question is to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as Treasurer - assuming that that title is still relevant, given that we no longer have a Treasury. Mrs Carnell, at this time of the year, even when we had September budgets, the capital works program would have been provided to the relevant Assembly committee for its consideration. We are a bit concerned about its absence. Could you advise us when the capital works program will be provided for examination, and to whom?