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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 148 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

On 3 September last year, Mrs Carnell, concerning a proposal from the Tuggeranong Community Service that they use the old station to house and run community support programs, you said:

The Government is currently considering this proposal and assessing the community benefits that will be derived from it. I am hoping that a decision will be made in the near future.

Chief Minister, the buildings are still empty, I hope not for much longer, are unkempt and now have been vandalised. Has that decision at last been made?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I thought I might give this one to Mr Humphries.

MR HUMPHRIES: We are a very flexible government. Mr Speaker, let me start answering this question by saying that it is a matter of regret that it has taken a very long time for the Erindale police station to be reallocated to some other purpose. Mr Wood will be aware that the process of decommissioning buildings and deciding on a new purpose is never one that is easily accomplished. You will recall, for example, the long problem we had in finding a suitable tenant to occupy the Holder High School, much of the delay over that period, of course, being under the former Government.

It is a problem to identify appropriate purposes in a way which allows buildings to be used in a seamless fashion between different purposes. However, I think since Mr Wood asked his last question the station has been fully taken under the wing of the Office of Asset Management and the office has spent some time discussing with relevant stakeholders and potential interested parties how the building might be used. Following the submission of a business plan by the Tuggeranong Community Service to both OAM and the Department of Education, the Tuggeranong Community Service were advised that leasing of the station to that particular organisation was not supported. The reason for not supporting the proposal was that the financial statements presented by the Tuggeranong Community Service did not support the long-term leasing of the site, at least in that particular case.

The property, obviously, is being managed by Totalcare Industries on behalf of the Office of Asset Management, and at the present time expressions of interest, I believe, have been sought for occupants of the site. I understand that a number of potential occupants, including, from memory, a radio station based in Tuggeranong, have had discussions with OAM about the use of the site.

A market assessment is being commissioned to determine the highest and best use of the site in the near future. Recommendations will be made to the Government on the future use of the site once that assessment has been considered. I hope that a short-term use for the site can be found if long-term uses are not considered appropriate in certain cases.

Mr Speaker, I think it is important that I put the reason for the problem with this particular site on the table in the Assembly. There is no shortage of organisations and individuals who would be happy to occupy the building tomorrow, but in almost every case those organisations, usually community-based organisations or those offering particular services, will require some kind of public subvention in order to be able to

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