Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3119 ..
MR HIRD (continuing):
... there has not been any recognition of the fundamental issues relating to the proper administration of leasehold in the ACT ...
It was not the committee's role on this occasion to evaluate the ACT leasehold administration system or its philosophy. I believe it was our role to consider the specific reference within the terms of the existing system as required under the Land (Planning and Environment) Act, and I consider that this was done carefully and deliberately.
The committee took pains to ensure that we ask all necessary questions and that we got answers that were full and detailed enough to enable us to form opinions. We even took the unusual step, Mr Speaker, of agreeing to publish as an annexure to the final report much of the information which we gathered in this way. Members will note that we even published a number of legal opinions and arguments relating to aspects of the inquiry. I would argue that the variety of topics and the depth of the responses in the annexure are certain evidence that all the issues relating to this matter have been addressed. We have simply come to different conclusions based on our own interpretation of both the evidence and maybe the task at hand.
The dissenting report makes a number of points as to how Mr Corbell believes the ACT leasehold system should operate. This is fine, Mr Speaker, but it was not the committee's reference. The majority report is based on how the system currently operates. If the Assembly wants my committee to look at the system as a whole, then we will obviously obey the will of the parliament, notwithstanding our already extremely heavy workload. But I repeat that that was not our task on this occasion.
I consider that it is unfair to the proponents of any development proposal to have to address a hypothetical future system. There is probably enough difficulty in addressing a system that actually exists at any given point in time without having to worry about what changes may be made later. Mr Rugendyke and I, in reaching our conclusions that draft variation 94 should be endorsed, considered that the proponents had met the criteria of the existing ACT leasehold system. We did not leap to this conclusion. We were drawn to it through a thorough examination of the issues.
I would like to address a number of specific issues for the benefit of members. The dissenting report made much of the opinion that the current proposal is effectively the same as one considered and rejected by the previous Liberal Government. The current proposal is slightly smaller, 59 dwellings as against 61, true, but contains significant amendments in relation to the size of the site, the size of extensions to the nature park and the siting of the water control ponds. The majority of the committee has accepted that the proponent has accepted the duty to reflect the concerns of the community and to compromise accordingly.
Mr Speaker, the committee report recommends the placing of even further restraints upon the proposal. I would remind members that the original proposal suggested by the Federal Golf Club to their members was for a development of in excess of 150 dwelling