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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 2609 ..

Mr Wood: It will be a hotel.

MS CARNELL: People do not usually live in hotels; they live in apartments. At the same time we are encouraging the redevelopment of ageing office blocks that are sitting there vacant. If those opposite suggest that that is a bad policy, I would like them to say it categorically, because I have to say that the community does not agree with them.

MR STANHOPE: I ask a supplementary question. Mr Speaker, I thank the Chief Minister for her offer to provide the stamp duty figures for the Waldorf to the Assembly. My supplementary question is: Can the Chief Minister indicate to the Assembly whether the Government's stamp duty waiver was conditional on an obligation for the developer to complete the project within an agreed timeframe? If so, what was the timeframe? Can the Chief Minister say whether a similar stamp duty waiver will be offered as an incentive to a new developer should FAI Property Management abandon or sell the project?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I do not have a copy of the contract. Is that a surprise to everyone in the Assembly? Surprising as this may seem, I also did not sign the contractual arrangement with FAI or, for that matter, the contractual arrangements for the other two developments that we provided the waiver for as part of announced policy of about two years ago. The other two properties that have been part of this approach are the Northbourne Avenue property that has become the Holiday Inn and the Melbourne Building, both of which have been refurbished quite significantly. I do not know, and nor would a Minister know, what the actual details of a contractual arrangement are. If those opposite are interested in getting those details in question time, then they should give notice of the question or alternatively put the question on notice. That is the normal parliamentary approach to detailed questions of this sort.

000 Emergency Telephone Service

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I have given notice of this question to Mr Humphries. I hope I get a good answer. Minister, my office has been made aware of several recent problems with the Telstra 000 telephone system, and it is something that I know that you have had concerns about. One of those concerns relates to a call which was directed to the ACT Fire Brigade from a person in Perth seeking emergency assistance. Minister, I know that you have been seeking to get some assurance from Telstra that the 000 system is fail-safe. I am also aware that your officials were to meet with Telstra or have met with Telstra to discuss these concerns. Can you advise this Assembly whether a meeting has taken place and whether or not your concerns - and I imagine all our concerns - have been adequately dealt with by Telstra?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Osborne for that question, because it is a matter that is of quite serious concern. The process of reorganising and rationalising the 000 emergency network began way back in 1991. Telstra's aim since that time has been to rationalise the number of call centres from 48, as it then stood, to just two - I gather one in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

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