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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 326 ..

Rural Residential Development

MR QUINLAN: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, to some extent your previous answer does cover what I was going to ask. We on this side of the house are also concerned about due process. I am very interested in the financial advice that you receive from the administration on the development of rural residential estates in the Territory. Was a cost-benefit analysis carried out?

MS CARNELL: That is exactly what PALM is doing at the moment. I would have assumed those opposite would have been very well aware of that and also the reason why the ACT did not enter into a joint venture arrangement. One of the things required in the preliminary agreement was to do the financial assessments of both the proposed rural residential development and the joint venture part of that.

As I think we would all know, PALM is currently in the process of doing a full review of rural residential development in the ACT - that is, not just the Kinlyside development but more generally. They are due to report by the end of June this year, so they are well into this study. The cost-benefit analysis that they will do involves issues such as larger blocks, whether they affect the ongoing viability of the release of the land and what benefits they bring to the ACT generally. As part of that study, Mr Speaker, they will be consulting with all of the key stakeholders, including the Rural Lessees Association, the National Capital Authority, neighbouring New South Wales councils, the Conservation Council of the South-East Region and Canberra and the Village of Hall and District Progress Association. What we are seeing, again, is a sensible, rational, step-by-step approach, looking at what the benefits are to the ACT before the ACT is in any way tied to the agreement.

MR QUINLAN: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Now that the Government has been dragged kicking and screaming, I would say, into due process and we are working towards getting the horse back in front of the cart, will the Chief Minister assure this house that the Government will not be entering into further joint agreements without having done the work that is now being done and will not be finished until June?

MS CARNELL: We have not entered into a joint venture agreement now, Mr Speaker; so we certainly will not be doing any further ones. Mr Quinlan is but again wrong.

Police Force - Expenditure

MR HIRD: Mr Quinlan is going on like the antics of the Follett Government - $28m out at Harcourt Hill.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ask your question, Mr Hird.

MR HIRD: My question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety. Minister, I refer to reports in the media about police expenditure, which is of some concern to the community in the ACT. It is running, as I understand it, above budget. If this is true, can you inform the parliament as to what the Government is doing about it?

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