Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 885 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
offered the Swans the option of a property at Uriarra. That is an option which the Swans have chosen not to pursue any further.
I indicated also to the Swans that if there was the possibility of granting another residence through a subleasing of a rural lease, the government would see whether or not that was possible. So we have sought to explore other alternatives for the Swans, but the Swans are saying to the government, "The only option is you let us live on this land," land which is public land under the Territory Plan.
The government has sought to be flexible in this issue, but we have to work within the broader planning objectives we are trying to achieve as a city. I would argue, Mr Speaker, that the Swans have not been flexible. I would argue that they have said to the government, "This is the only option that is acceptable to us and if you do not provide it we will have to close our business." Mr Speaker, the government is prepared to work through options, but when you are presented with only one acceptable outcome, it is very difficult to meet it, given the other points that I have raised today.
The Swans can continue to lease the land on the current premises, but I will not argue in favour of the proposal put by Mrs Dunne because it is ad hoc and it relies on an emotive response to an issue rather than a proper analysis of the planning circumstances that are in place. This is public land. This is land which is subject to review under the Territory Plan. This is land which is urban land under the National Capital Plan, and in the next 12 months we are going to be doing a comprehensive planning exercise for all of Narrabundah. Why in those circumstances should the Assembly agree to this proposal today? The answer is: there is no reason for the Assembly to agree to this motion today, and I urge members to oppose the motion.
MS TUCKER (11.07): The Greens are happy to support this motion, with a slight qualification that I will mention later. The proprietors of Animals Afloat, Ms Murray and Mr Swan, have spoken to me in my office a number of times about the problems they have faced in trying to run their business from their block in Narrabundah.
My understanding is that the Murray family has had an interest in this block that predates self-government-in fact, four generations of the Murray family have lived there. This block is the last remaining block of a much larger rural property that was held by the Murray family before Canberra was developed, and took in the suburbs of Narrabundah and Kingston and parts of other surrounding suburbs. However, as with many rural properties in the Canberra district, the block was steadily resumed over the years as the suburbs were built. The last acquisition was in 1982 for the building of the Monaro Highway over Canberra Avenue, which required the demolition of the main homestead on the property.
The current block has been held by Ms Murray's father as a grazing lease on a quarterly basis since 1985. The lease was passed on to Ms Murray early last year. This area was zoned as urban open space when the Territory Plan was introduced. However, I note that the area is specifically designated as not public land, and I think Mr Corbell misled the Assembly in the speech he just made in stating so strongly that this is public land.