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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1269 ..

Wednesday 8 May 2002

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Sale of Commonwealth land

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a very short statement in relation to the issue of Commonwealth ownership of land in the ACT.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, there has been much interest and debate within the community and within this place around Commonwealth land release and land sale programs, policies and attitudes. Indeed, this matter was touched on yesterday in a question to Mr Corbell.

In the course of explaining to the Assembly the Commonwealth's position and the ACT government's position in relation to this issue, Mr Corbell referred to a letter which I had written to the Prime Minister about the matter, and in the context of that Mr Corbell indicated that it was disappointing that the Commonwealth had not responded to my letters before proceeding with the decision to seek to sell a number of blocks.

My office had in fact received a response from the Prime Minister on Monday of this week. That was unknown to Mr Corbell yesterday. For the information of members of the Assembly, I present the following paper:

Commonwealth owned sites in the City Division of Canberra-Block 11, sections 61 and 63-Copy of letter from Prime Minister to Chief Minister, dated 2 May 2002.

Matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: Members, this morning Mr Pratt lodged an MPI concerning drug usage by high school students as reflected in a survey released this week. Standing order 130 states:

A matter on the Notice Paper must not be anticipated by a matter of public importance, an amendment or other less effective form of proceeding.

Private members business notice No 6, which is listed on today's notice paper in Ms Tucker's name, contains the words "problematic use of drugs and other substances". Having carefully considered the issues, I have concluded that the MPI would be

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