Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3133 ..
MR WOOD (continuing):
It was also the case that both the government of the day and the then planning committee were reviewing the practice of varying concessional leases. I think it was about the Eastlake Football Club at Manuka. We were looking at that and we were saying, "How much longer will we be doing this?". The winds of change were there, they were clearly there, when we were reviewing more critically those variations to concessional leases. The policy that Mr Corbell has announced today is quite consistent with that reconsideration, that further consideration, of what we were doing about concessional leases. I am very happy to support this disallowance motion. Quite simply, where other developments were suitable for the purposes of the government of the day and beneficial, I believe, to the community, change to the Federal golf course would not be so. Therefore, I will be enthusiastically supporting Mr Corbell's motion.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (12.06): Mr Speaker, in rising to support my colleague Mr Smyth I must say, as someone who used to play golf seriously but has not for the last 20 years or so, although I do have the occasional game, that I wonder why people want to put houses on golf courses when there are so many mug golfers around. Mr Wood mentioned the development at Belconnen golf course which he approved, I understand. It is in an island there. One of the last games I played was in a football club golf day there and one of my colleagues - no, it was not me; I topped the ball and it went about 30 metres, actually - hit a magnificent shot which went off to the right and landed bang in the middle of the houses there. I do not know whether it was such a sensible development, Mr Wood, but I have no doubt that it is quite popular with the people there because lots of people bought houses on the island within the Belconnen golf course. As a number of speakers have said, there are certainly precedents for such developments. Indeed, the proposed development seems to be a little bit more out of the way than some of the earlier developments on golf courses.
I think it is important to look at what has occurred in terms of consultation because that is crucial to planning issues. People have the right to have a say and a process is followed to give everyone who has an interest in the subject the opportunity to have a say. The Federal Golf Club variation to the Territory Plan has been through an enormous amount of public consultation. The consultation processes have been both formal and as part of the golf club's own initiatives. Anyone and everyone who wished to be consulted has had the opportunity to comment at three different stages.
Consultation was undertaken in 1997 when the club canvassed a proposal to construct 61 dwellings on a 4.26-hectare site within the club's lease. At that time the club proposed a land swap which involved expanding the nature conservation area by 6.25 hectares in return for including 3.23 hectares of urban open space within the golf course lease to construct a stormwater retention pond. During the preliminary consultation stage this proposal attracted very strong community resistance and in October 1997 the then Minister, Mr Humphries, announced that he was not prepared to allow the proposal to be considered further as it was clear that there would not be majority Assembly support for the required variation of the Territory Plan.