Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3175 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
there be no remissions for concessional and free of charge lessees who propose changes to lease purpose clauses which add value to the land and are for a purpose different from the original grant.
What is the Government proposing in relation to betterment for this proposal, should it proceed? They are proposing a remission of approximately 25 per cent. Again, that is not some abstract concept that I conjured out of the air because, according to some members in this place, I have some personal objection to this proposal. Again, an important matter of principle for the administration of leasehold in the Territory and a key recommendation of the Stein inquiry into the administration of ACT leasehold was that there be no remission for concessional and free-of-charge lessees. That puts to bed that particular complaint from the Minister.
The Minister argued that the public does not lose anything from this development, this variation to Territory Plan, proceeding because the public does not really have access to this land. What the Minister failed to acknowledge - - -
Mr Smyth: I did not say that.
MR CORBELL: If the Minister objects to my interpretation, he can stand up afterwards and make a personal explanation.
What the Minister failed to acknowledge in his comments earlier today is that the golf club has a clause in its lease which provides access rights to members of the public. It has a specific requirement in its lease. It is not like a fenced-off football ground - which can also come under the restricted use recreational section of the Territory Plan - which is difficult for the general public to use. The golf course is an open area, with people walking to and out of it all the time. People do have a direct interest in whether or not they are going to see land alienated from general public use. Again, Mr Smyth's argument is simply wrong.
I want to put on the record today that we welcome the Minister's announcement that the club is prepared to return to Red Hill Nature Reserve nine hectares of land currently on its lease. We welcome it because that land is of significant conservation value. But this is not in any way an attempt to address the substantive contradictions and the inconsistencies of this proposal with the administration of leasehold in the Territory or with the principles of the Territory Plan.
I want to comment on a couple of comments made by Mr Kaine. Mr Kaine argued that we had taken this up as a political cause, and he could not understand why we were doing it, because the people in Garran do not vote Labor.
Mr Kaine: That was one of the things I said.