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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (2 July) . . Page.. 2139 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

on 26 May this year, just a couple of weeks ago, all blocks sold above reserve. That was for both residential and commercial land. Twelve residential blocks sold for $3.1m, $1.25m above the expected market value.

It is true that in the last few years there has been a slump in housing sales in particular in the ACT. It is worth remembering that when this Government came to office thousands upon thousands of residential blocks which had been placed on the Canberra market by the former Labor Government had not been absorbed by the retail market. There were huge asset sales by that former government to keep its budget in the black, with the result that, from memory, something like 6,000 residential blocks in the marketplace that had been sold by government to developers had not been taken up by buyers at that stage, by residential property owners.

With 6,000 blocks flooding the market, it is no wonder that the market was going to be pretty stagnant, pretty much in a slump, for some time after that. We have kept the tap turned off. The result has been that the market has absorbed many of those 6,000 blocks and we are now seeing the indicators of a strong upswing in the Canberra property market. That is a matter for which the ACT Government should be reaping some credit.

Narrabundah Long-Stay Caravan Park

MR CORBELL: My question to the Minister for Urban Services relates to the Narrabundah long-stay caravan park. Minister, recent announcements by the Government have made the residents of Uriarra Village happy. They are allowed, in the Government's own words, "to progress a rural-residential option at Uriarra". This is despite the Government's earlier concerns about possible large infrastructure costs and maintenance costs. Minister, the residents of the Narrabundah long-stay caravan park have not received the same good news. They told the Government they were willing to form a community housing group and take over the management of the park themselves. In a letter from you received by them on 29 June you carefully skirt around the issue. Instead, you say that the Government is committed to selling the park as a going concern but would welcome a tender from residents. Minister, my question is: How does the Government intend to proceed on this matter, and what requirements will be laid down?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, it is the Government's intention to proceed with the sale of the long-stay caravan park at Narrabundah, and we will be putting out tender documents when appropriate.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. The residents of the Narrabundah long-stay caravan park have also asked that the lease of the caravan park be subdivided. They are still waiting for an answer on that issue. Minister, these caravans are people's homes. These people need and deserve security of tenure. When will you provide them with an answer on this issue?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, we are still looking at the leasing options. It is something that the Government has considered. I do not have an answer on that yet, but when we do we will provide that to the residents.

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