Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2018 ..
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTION
QUESTION NUMBER 233
Service Station Sites - Lease Conditions
(1) Are there any conditions placed on the lessees of petrol station sites in the ACT, in their lease purpose clause or otherwise, regarding any consequences that might arise to their lease if the petrol station ceases operating for more than one year.
(2) What conditions are placed on the lessees of petrol station sites which cease operating regarding the removal of the underground storage tanks and assessing and remediating any contamination of the site and surrounding land from petrol seepage.
Mr Humphries - the answer to the Member's question is as follows:
(1) There are standard provisions in the Crown lease for a service station. The Government may terminate the lease if the lessee has failed to use the site for a period of 12 months, if they have not paid land rent, or if they have breached one of the clauses relating to environmental protection. Termination is subject to appeal by the lessee to the Land and Planning Appeals Board.
The lease provides also for surrender and the payment of compensation for improvements should the lessee decide to cease operating a service station.
In either event, the Government would prefer to preserve elements of competition within the retail petrol industry. The Government has put the oil industry on notice that conversion of sites to uses other than petrol retailing will not be supported if such conversion is not in the interest of a competitive industry. Should we find that a site is no longer viable, we would negotiate with the oil company lessees to allow redevelopment for uses compatible with local community needs. This strategy would avoid the deleterious effect of fenced off sites and boarded up buildings.
Oil companies are urged to discuss their proposals with the Government and be more open.