Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3139 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
...if a concessional lessee wishes to redevelop the whole or part of its lease for a new use unassociated with the concessional lease use, and which increases the land value by reason of the new use, then the lessee should be required to pay full betterment without being entitled to any remission.
It is not enough for the Government to say that the golf club would be paying betterment. This charge would be for only 75 per cent of the change in value, which would still provide a 25 per cent windfall gain for the club. That would have been 50 per cent if the Government had been able to proceed with its proposed amendments to change-of-use charges that it tabled recently.
Whilst I am aware that the golf club requires funding for a new water supply system, I believe that this funding should come from the users of the golf course, rather than being subsidised by the ACT community as a whole through the loss of the public benefit associated with this open space. By its nature, the sport of golf has a significant impact on the environment relative to other sports, due to the large area of land it takes up and the need for high levels of watering and horticultural maintenance. It should be the responsibility of the club itself to reduce the environmental impacts of its own activities.
I am happy to support the club's effort to reduce its water use and set up water recycling systems, but I still believe that this should be at the club's expense, not the community's. If the Government wants to assist the club in this endeavour, it should do so in a direct and transparent way, as it does with other sporting clubs, and take account of other competing priorities for government assistance. The Government should not be assisting the club in a roundabout way by allowing the club to make a windfall profit on this development which I believe the majority of the people in the area do not want and which goes against good planning principles.
At 12.30 pm the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 74. Mr Speaker having ascertained that it was the wish of the Assembly that consideration of the matter take precedence of other Assembly business later this day -
MS TUCKER: I seek leave to make a personal explanation.
MS TUCKER: Late yesterday afternoon in the adjournment debate Mr Humphries responded to concerns I had raised in question time about whether the Chief Minister was going to apply the same standards to her own Minister, Mr Smyth, as she was expecting of Mr Corbell in terms of publicly correcting incorrect statements, and he