Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2985 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
The lease is, of course, a concessional lease. The club pays $7,000 a year in rent for the land and it was, in fact, granted at a peppercorn rental. It was, of course, deemed to be in the public interest to grant the land to the club because the community believed that it was appropriate to provide a golf course in that area. But that does not mean that the club has any presumptive rights to develop the land for any other purpose. That is a right that can only be exercised by the Territory; yet this issue has been ignored by the majority report of the standing committee.
There seems to be an acceptance that because it has occurred in other instances it can occur here; yet PALM, in their advice to the committee, said that precedence was not an issue for consideration. PALM said that each planning proposal and each change to the Territory Plan is considered on a case by case basis; so there is no basis for advocating this proposal on the ground that it has occurred with regard to other concessional leases.
Equally, the issue of betterment to be charged for the development at the Federal Golf Club, should this proposal proceed, at 75 per cent, is in direct contradiction with the recommendations of the Stein inquiry, which recommended that there be no remissions for concessional lessees who propose changes to a lease purpose clause which add value to the land and which would be, for all purposes, different from the original grant. Again, there is no comment in the majority report relating to this very substantial issue of leasehold administration policy.
Mr Speaker, a range of other contradictions came out in the public hearings of the Urban Services Committee which were not in any way addressed by the majority report. I find it difficult to believe that the majority report did not at least pick up on those and seek some clarification. The first relates to the consistency of this draft variation with various principles of the Territory Plan, key principles relating to residential development and the maintenance of open space systems in the ACT. Mr Speaker, it was brought to the committee's attention that this proposal was quite inconsistent with principle 3.2 of the Territory Plan, which highlights that:
Residential development will continue to be arranged in distinct suburbs and urban precincts, each containing appropriate commercial, community and recreation facilities.
This principle is intended to prevent development of precisely the nature proposed at Federal; yet this development would be a small, isolated residential enclave that would be inefficient to service and would rely entirely on road transportation. The draft variation document itself indicates that it would rely entirely on the private motor vehicle as its primary form of access and there would be no public transport access. That was further confirmed by the proposal's preliminary assessment, which indicated that the development would be a residential island; yet in the questioning of PALM officials in relation to whether this proposal was consistent with that principle we had a contradiction. During the first public hearing PALM officers indicated that the proposal is for "an isolated precinct in the sense that it does not have other social facilities within it". Yet in the second public hearing we were advised:
The location of the land in relation to the wider metropolitan area is highly accessible and achieves efficiencies in terms of distances to be travelled.