Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4711 ..
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care) (3.35): Mr Speaker, I must admit that I find this motion quite amazing. I would have thought that every member of this Assembly would be wanting the Government to be out there, seeking expressions of interest on sites of such importance as this particular site. As we know, there are actually two parts to this site. Anybody who had actually bothered to read the expressions of interest document - obviously, nobody who has spoken in this debate so far has - would have seen the way the expressions of interest document has been put together. No. 1, as is made very clear right on the front page:
The Territory reserves the right not to proceed with any Expression of Interest.
The Territory also reserves the right to change any of the procedures, terms or conditions of this Invitation for Expressions of Interest to purchase Block 1 and/or Block 3 Section 31 City without notice. All correspondence, invitations to participate in the process, discussions to finalise details or anything of a written or oral nature that passes between the parties shall be part of the negotiation process only.
I think this is really important, Mr Speaker:
No contract or other legal obligation shall arise until a lease has been offered accepted and executed by the Territory.
Mr Speaker, the reality is that in no way was the Government jumping into some sale approach on a particular building. In fact, quite the opposite was the case. We make it very clear in this document, in black and white, Mr Speaker - again, for anybody who had actually bothered to read the document - that, No. 1, we are looking at one of three different approaches, or maybe more than one of three different approaches. The proposal is for an integrated development of both sites, and/or the redevelopment of the QEII site, and/or the redevelopment or continued use of the Health Building, as appropriate.
So, what we are doing is looking at a fairly large, fairly central site in Canberra and determining whether, by just putting the QEII site out on its own, we would get the best deal for Canberra or whether, by adding to that the Health Building site, we would get a better bottom line for Canberra. A bottom line is not just about money. We actually make that comment, again in black and white, in this document as well. On page 9, in item 4(iii), it says quite definitely:
the highest amount offered for the lease(s) is not the only relevant consideration and will not necessarily determine the successful applicant.