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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 786 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

I think it is important to make a couple of comments about my own view on this section, which consists of a vacant, circular, 1970s construction-

Ms Tucker: Are you talking about block 3?


Ms Tucker: Which the government is about to sell, which is up for auction?

MR RUGENDYKE: I am talking about section 31, which includes blocks 1, 2 and 3.

Ms Tucker: My motion is about the one that the government is going to auction.

MR RUGENDYKE: Yes. Mr Speaker, it is a circular construction of the 1970s. In the 1970s it may well have been somewhat viable. The committee heard evidence from experts in the field about the viability of shopping centres. We heard how the butcher who left Latham and, I think, set up in another suburb still owes the owner about $15,000 in rent. We also heard how the rent of the supermarket, when it was still operating, was reduced from $52,000 per annum to about $30,000 per annum, simply so that the owner could keep the supermarket there. As we know, a fire happened. The place is now an eyesore as a result of that.

Mr Speaker, it seems to me that some people here believe that it is a crime for the owner of this lease to be able to make a quid out of his lease, to be able to use this lease to secure his superannuation. Various plans have been shown to the community and to the committee about the redevelopment of this section, blocks 1, 2 and 3. The developer has drawn 10 plans one after the other. He is now up to plan 10. Plan 10 shows 19 residences on the block-I think it is block 1-of the circular building, with a driveway that leads to the block that is the subject of this motion. If there is residential development on this block and the block that is up for sale, the driveway could be continued through and make for a similar construction between blocks 1 and 3.

Mr Speaker, the other aspect to point out is that plan 10 of the developer shows a small-100 square metres-corner store outside the lease of the circular bay. The reason that was done by the developer is that they believe, and I agree with them, that that is the only type of shop that would have the capacity to survive and only if it is under strata title owned by, for example, a mum and dad business offering bread, milk, papers and the basics. We know for a fact from evidence that we received during the committee hearings that people just did not use the supermarket, the butcher and the newsagent. That is why they all left. You have just got to compare the Melba shops with the Latham shops.

Mr Stanhope: The butcher at Melba was from Latham.


: Yes, that is right. He went there because he could not survive at Latham. Why? Firstly, the Melba shops are on a good road. Melba has a service station that is viable. It has a takeaway that survives. It is a revitalised little shopping centre. We will not need to worry about Melba in relation to variation 64. But look at poor, sad Latham. It is in the back streets. It is a fair distance from Kippax, but not so far that the people do not drive there to get their groceries. Variation 64 is very important for

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