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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 2002 ..

MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister indicated that the whole matter was with the Auditor-General. I would think that the sensible thing to do would be to wait until that comes through. The second half of the question, though, is reasonable and possible to answer.

Mr Kaine: Speaking to the point of order, Mr Speaker: Are you ruling that, because a matter is before the Auditor-General, it is somehow sub judice in this place? Is that your ruling?

MR SPEAKER: No, it is not my ruling.

Mr Kaine: Because if it is, I think you are quite off the planet.

MR SPEAKER: I am not ruling that way at all. I am not ruling it sub judice. I am ruling that it is commonsense.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, commonsense has rarely had a place in the Assembly, certainly with those opposite. Mr Speaker, negotiations have been ongoing with the Commonwealth concerning the existing lease and further ownership arrangements with regard to Bruce Stadium and a final decision on the stadium's transfer, as members would be aware because I put it on the table and have spoken about it ad infinitum since the Federal election in October 1998. Negotiations continued after this time with the Australian Sports Commission and the Department of Finance and Administration and valuations were undertaken by the Department of Finance and Administration to determine a value, that is, a cost to the ACT Government.

This valuation took some time in preparing. Indeed, several meetings were held on the methodology and scope of the valuation. As a consequence, the Prime Minister provided an interim ownership agreement which was an extension of the existing peppercorn rent which sees the Territory paying a commercial rent from 2009 to 2024; in other words, an interim agreement that extends our lease from 2009 to 2024.

Mr Speaker, the option of either purchase or a commercially based rental is being explored further with the Commonwealth. We have actually set up a working group comprising officials from my department, Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Finance and Administration to look at valuation concepts, to look at issues like what is a commercial valuation for something like Bruce Stadium. We own the asset; therefore, the Commonwealth does not - - -

Mr Quinlan: Before or after you did it up?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the asset is the cash flow, and the money that has been put into the stadium is ours; therefore, the Commonwealth does not need or expect a return on their investment because they do not have one in it. Mr Speaker, this is the sort of approach that we took with ACT Forests. When we came to government, if members - - -

Opposition members: Ha, ha!

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! The Chief Minister is answering the question.

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