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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3418 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

However, while no explicit record giving consent to the installation of irrigation and turf replacements is available, section 214 of the act clearly enables the territory to accept the surrender of a lease on such conditions as the executive considers appropriate. In this case not only would the club lose the improvements to the pitch; they were also surrendering a substantial piece of land to the community. In addition, it should be noted that a deed of agreement was put in place requiring the club to expend $200,000 on upgrading that part of its land which the club gave over to open space for the use of the community which the club has surrendered to the territory.

Ms Tucker, I think, seems to be under the misapprehension that it is not necessarily a grant just under section 163, which relates to community organisations which must not hold a liquor licence. A lease may be granted under paragraph 161-1-6, concessional, for the various purposes and to the various kinds of lessees. Similarly, one section of 164 allows a direct grant of a special lease for market value. All direct grants are reported to this Assembly.

Mr Speaker, the government believes that the approach that has been taken in proceeding with the direct grant to the club is the correct one. The approach addressed a concern that the redevelopment should not generate a windfall gain for this concessional lease, and the increased value of the land should be captured by the community. Indeed, I think this was an approach that was broadly supported at the time. The advice I have from the department, Mr Speaker, is that the process that has been followed is an appropriate process, and that there are no irregularities here, as Ms Tucker would contend.

MR CORBELL (8.12): Mr Speaker, the issue that Ms Tucker raises today in the matter of public importance reinforces the concerns which have existed since the commencement of self-government, and, indeed, prior to self-government, in relation to the proper administration of the leasehold system.

Before I turn to the particular aspects of the Deakin Soccer Club proposal, I think it is worth putting on the record that the proper administration of the leasehold system has been the subject of a number of inquiries over the period of self-government and prior to self-government. The key inquiry during that time was the inquiry into the administration of ACT Leasehold, otherwise known as the Stein inquiry. The Stein report made a wide range of key recommendations about the appropriate management of the leasehold system. First and foremost amongst those was the importance of having a level of expertise available within the ACT administration to ensure that the leasehold system was being effectively administered, and administered in a way which coordinated with the activities of the planning agency.

Ms Tucker raised a number of issues in relation to the Deakin Soccer Club. Some of these issues have been aired previously, others have not. The issues are complex, and I do not think any member here would claim to have a full understanding of the regulations and other legal requirements that relate to the assigning and transferring of leases such as that held by the Deakin Soccer Club.

I was interested in the documents Ms Tucker provided from her office, particularly the advice from the Environmental Defenders Office to the Deakin Residents Association. It is the general comments at the end that strike me as most significant. The representative of the Environmental Defenders Office says in these general comments, "I do not offer

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