Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 882 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
Proposal for lease variation by Christine Murray and Alan Swan-Copy of facsimile from John Keely, Chair, Old Narrabundah Community Council Inc to Members of the Legislative Assembly, dated 9 April 2002.
What the Murrays and Swans aspire to do is consolidate their business, which is also a service to the community. In addition to taking paid bookings, the Murrays and the Swans spend a lot of time doing charitable work for organisations across Canberra for disadvantaged children-for children at Koomarri, Hartley House, for cancer victims and the like-and they would like to be able to consolidate their business so as to provide a better service to the children of Canberra.
Christine Murray and Alan Swan are aware of the increased responsibility that a lease change would mean. It would mean a different sort of lease, and they are aware that they would have to pay monies for that. But we have a rural policy, initiated and developed by the Leader of the Opposition, and finally implemented by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, which allows for a rational transition and the possibility of them acquiring a more sustainable lease.
This motion is asking PALM to institute a formal process, with no guarantees of a positive outcome in favour of the Murrays, that would allow, if it were to succeed, the Murrays to acquire a rural lease of greater standing and to build a house. All they are asking for is a simple home on site so that Christine Murray can continue with her business and support the children of Canberra. This is a simple, straightforward and transparent solution. It is not a bandaid like that suggested by the minister and his staff. I commend the motion to the house.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.54): Mr Speaker, the arguments put by Mrs Dunne today are emotional and simplistic, and they are arguments the government will not accept. Before I deal with the detail of Mrs Dunne's motion, I would like to make it very clear that the government has no argument with the worth and the value of the service that the Swans provide to the Canberra community through their business. Indeed, I think it is highly likely my own son has enjoyed their petting farm on at least one occasion. But that is not really the point. In fact, these are all matters which are really not relevant to planning issues in this city. What is relevant is that there be an appropriate, transparent and fair process-a process which takes account of the broader strategic planning objectives that the community is asking for, and which the government is committed to implementing.
Mrs Dunne proposes that the land use policy be changed to broadacre. This proposal is fundamentally driven by her belief that the current short-term lessees should be eligible to apply for a right to a residence on the land. Let me give members some background. In March last year the territory agreed to the transfer of the lease to the current lessees from another member of their family. At that time there did not appear to be an intention to run the Animals Afloat business from the land in Narrabundah as it was being run from a rented property in Majura.