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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 149 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

occupy the site; that is, they need the building, but they will not be able to afford to pay rent, or only at a heavily discounted rate, and they will probably need some kind of support to continue operations in that particular location. We just do not have the resources - - -

Mr Wood: That is not really the case. There are plenty of very good organisations out there. Our old buildings are full of organisations who do not fit that bill. That is just waffle.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is not my understanding, Mr Speaker. We are trying to engineer a situation where people who occupy government buildings do so on the clear understanding that the costs associated with that have to be described and indicated before the occupation begins. In this case it is not easy to find a tenant who would occupy the building without those sorts of costs involved. Of course, we will continue to push for finding a suitable tenant in that category.

MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I will try Mr Humphries. He does not run the Office of Asset Management; the Chief Minister does.

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, we have made it clear before that Mr Humphries is the Minister assisting me in the area of OAM and has taken questions in this area before in the Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Very well. Proceed.

MR WOOD: Mr Humphries might say what he can do to speed up this process. There are some bodies in this community who are not up to running such a building; you are right. But we have evidence of many more bodies that are more than capable of resourcing the care of such a building. What is the Office of Asset Management going to do to expedite this process? It is probably four years ago that we knew that that building was going to be vacant.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, first of all, as far as what we can do, there is not a week that goes past when I do not raise with the Office of Asset Management, who meet with me every week, the question of what has happened with Erindale. It is a matter that I am aware you are deeply concerned about. For that reason, I want to make sure that the issue is resolved as soon as possible. If it had been possible to move it any faster, I would have been very surprised.

Secondly, as far as tenants are concerned, I would be very interested in hearing from Mr Wood or any other member of the chamber who has a suitable tenant who could occupy that building tomorrow. But bear in mind that it is not simply a question of finding someone who is capable, as you put it, of resourcing the use of that building - that is, paying for the cost of occupying the building, as in keeping the lights turned on and the doors opened during the day and so on - it is also a question of making sure that the asset is not run-down and, if possible, it returns - - -

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