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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4901 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (10.32): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I am advised that there are occasions when, in effect, it is proposed to conduct an auction amongst a restricted class of people and on occasions there is only one person in that class who is eligible to bid. Under the present arrangement it is technically necessary to conduct that auction even though only one person is able to bid, which is obviously a nonsense. It is obviously more sensible to be able to arrange for the granting of a lease to that person without having an auction under some other arrangement, presumably a negotiation about what is an appropriate cost for that lease.

Mr Moore: Then withdraw it, get a valuation offer, and put it out that way.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is the way it would work - some kind of appropriate treaty. It is obviously a nonsense. If you accept the idea of having restricted auctions, and I assume Mr Moore does, then it follows that you will sometimes have such tight restrictions that only one person will be eligible to bid. It may be the case, for example, that on occasions you are auctioning or re-leasing a funeral parlour. Because of other funeral parlours in the area, you might not be in a position to let other people bid because there are no other bidders.

Mr Moore: In fact, this is a real example, is not it?

MR HUMPHRIES: It is probably a real example. I think it is therefore appropriate to have that power. I am not saying that you are going to do it every time; that you are going to restrict the auction of a block of land - - -

Mr Moore: How many funeral parlours are we likely to have, anyway?

MR HUMPHRIES: Under this Government anything is possible. If the Government went around requiring that the class of people who may bid for a residential block in Reid are bearded men, around 40, with grey hair and having to wear half-moon glasses, then obviously it would be abusing that provision. But that is not the intention. It is meant to be a flexible arrangement to reflect the need for certain blocks of land to be used by certain classes of people only, and this reflects the practice that we now need to follow.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 31 and 32, by leave, taken together, and agreed to.

Clause 33

MR MOORE (10.36): I move amendment No. 7 circulated in my name, which reads:

Page 9, lines 23 to 25, paragraphs (a) and (b), omit the paragraphs.

The clause refers to section 171 of the principal Act. This deals with the term of a residential lease of land which is to expire within a period of 30 years. This amendment basically retains the 30-year rule. In terms of residential leases, you can apply for a new lease only when the lease is within the last 30 years of the term.

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