Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 2003 ..
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, those opposite are just cackling. You would really wonder. Mr Speaker, when we came to government, as some members would remember, the Commonwealth was suggesting that the ACT Government should pay it something like $25m for ACT Forests because they had not been swapped over at self-government. The Labor Government had messed around with this issue for years and never sorted it out. We sorted it out using exactly the same process. We set up a working group to look at the valuation of the forests. The working group determined that, really, the forests should be swapped with the ACT Government at no cost at all, after having a look at the actual valuation issues. A similar working group has been put together at this stage to look at the issue of the stadium, but at this stage we do have a lease through to 2024.
Mr Speaker, with regard to the comment about commercial rent, that is Commonwealth policy. And guess what other thing we are required to pay a commercial rent on, due to Mr Berry's incompetence? Guess what? The hospice. The hospice, Mr Speaker, because Mr Berry signed a short-term lease for five years. It was a short-term lease for five years, Mr Speaker. As it is Commonwealth policy that at the end of these sorts of peppercorn - - -
Mr Quinlan: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Are you going to apply the relevance ruling to this? This is about the rental for Bruce Stadium.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, it is an identical issue.
MR SPEAKER: The Chief Minister is making a comparison. The Opposition did challenge it.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, on the issue with regard to the hospice, Mr Berry signed a five-year, short-term licence agreement which expired yesterday. In line with Commonwealth policy when these peppercorn rent deals expire, guess what happens? Their policy is to go to commercial rent. The same thing occurred with the hospice. The same thing occurred with Bruce Stadium. From there we negotiate what that would be based upon - the return on capital and other usual commercial approaches. I have to say, Mr Speaker, that at this stage with Bruce Stadium we are still looking very seriously at the issue of possible purchase, looking at what would be best for the ACT. With regard to its effect on other issues, Mr Speaker, they have been taken into account and any rent would be paid out of operations.
MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I do not want to take up more time than is necessary because I know that time is our enemy in this house, so I will not ask a supplementary question. My question is to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. Can the Chief Minister inform the parliament as to how the ACT economy - the ACT economy, Mr Quinlan - is currently performing in comparison with the rest of Australia?