Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2451 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):The next day, on 11 April, Mr Townsend wrote to Mr Prattley. A day later Mr Townsend was on his typewriter sending a letter to Mr Prattley of the NCA setting out the basis on which the ACT Government would agree to the land swap. In Mr Townsend's document to Mr Prattley, from the ACT to the NCA, the basis of agreement between the ACT and the Commonwealth, Mr Townsend says to Mr Prattley:
Territory land to be transferred to the Commonwealth
Block 1 Section 55 and part Block 17 Section 33 of the Division of Acton as identified in Attachment B, with the exception of the site of the ACT hospice and cottage.
And it goes on and on. We get this wonderful exchange between an official in the Prime Minister's Department and an official in the NCA. When they started to treat the ACT like the mugs they proved to be in relation to the land swap, this was the discussion about the hospice site. This is a minute from the NCA to PM&C, from Ms Diana Williams to Ms Vicki Buckley:
Further to our discussions yesterday ... You will require some input from NCPA to answer the letter [from Mrs Carnell]. The comments regarding the Hospice and the cottage will need to be clarified since we have given the ACT Government a limited term ... land use permit for the Hospice.
Listen to this, Commonwealth officials getting together and dudding the ACT:
Whilst ever the Hospice remains it will be difficult to change the land from Territory to National Land.
The Commonwealth officials knew all about it. The minute goes on:
The Commonwealth needs to set the rules about what happens after the [time] is up.
The Commonwealth is saying, "We will beat these Territorians into submission. We will just show them how to negotiate. We will grind them into the ground. We will knock them off". It goes on and on. Of course, I could go on and on, because there is so much material about the extent to which the Commonwealth simply thrashed the ACT.
Just before the agreement was signed, the Government engaged a consultant, Morris Consultants. In October 1996, just before the agreement was signed, Morris Consultants were advising the ACT Government. Here comes the crunch:
To simplify the Land Exchange, one option for consideration by both Governments -
that is, Mrs Carnell and John Howard -