Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 717 ..
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Under clause 3 of the exclusive preliminary agreement - don't you love that? - or contract between the Government and Derek Whitcombe, and pending the establishment of a joint venture company, the Government is required to meet Mr Whitcombe's expenses for such matters as commissioning assessments, seeking approvals, preparing detailed reports and so on, potentially leaving the Government liable to some five months of expenditure between the time the agreement or contract - whatever you like to call it today - was signed in January and Mr Whitcombe's withdrawal in May. Can the Chief Minister say whether the Government has made any payments to meet expenses incurred by Mr Whitcombe, as required under clause 3, or whether Mr Whitcombe has asked for any payments to be made? If so, what payments, and how much were they?
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, commitments to date are for services to enable the preparation of work for the preliminary agreements required to vary the Territory Plan. The consultations have included geotechnical work, social planning, landscaping, archaeology and heritage, traffic and site engineering, and economic and financial assessments. Those are the sorts of things that had to be done or were being done as a result of the preliminary agreement, Mr Speaker.
Mr Corbell: Contract.
MS CARNELL: Preliminary agreement. No contract; preliminary agreement. Notwithstanding the decision announced in the Assembly on Tuesday, 19 May, the consultants have been asked to complete the work. This will provide substantial preliminary assessment documentation for the Hall area that will be valuable in the assessment of rural residential development in this area and, as we have said, Mr Speaker, we have every intention of going ahead. The costs to date are assessed at $140,000. All of that information that will be gained and has been gained will be useful, as the Government has made it very clear that we plan to go ahead with rural residential development in the ACT. We believe that that information, which, by the way, will be available for the ACT Government to use, is exactly the information that we will require in our approaches in the future.
MR QUINLAN: I think we just heard that we are going to pay this.
Mr Stanhope: We are going to do it anyway.
Ms Carnell: And we are going to do it.
MR QUINLAN: You did say, in answer to the previous question, that Mr Whitcombe withdrew?
Ms Carnell: Yes.