Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1838 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
now and into the future and did not dedicate sufficient space for community purposes. Clearly, you would be well aware that peak organisations such as ACT Shelter and the Youth Coalition have no guarantee of accommodation in the new community facilities.
Mr Corbell, given that the planning process under the previous government clearly was inadequate and that the resulting facilities will not be able to meet community needs, even in the short term, can you advise the Assembly of any advice that you have received on the cost to the ACT of withdrawing draft variation No 189 to the Territory Plan and renegotiating the community facilities component of the proposed development in an open and informed manner? Secondly, can you table that information, if you have it? Also, could you table the contract with Queensland Investment Corporation by the close of business today?
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the previous government entered into a contract with Queensland Investment Corporation for a tender to develop sections 35 and 56 in Civic. A lease has already been issued to QIC for part of the site, section 84, which is the car park area. Section 35, the proposed community facility which is the new Griffin Centre, cannot proceed until the draft variation is approved by the Assembly. Currently, the draft variation is before the Planning and Environment Committee for deliberation and report. The Planning and Environment Committee has been provided with a briefing, as I understand it, on the tender process and the assessment of tenders for section 56 in Civic as a result of a direct request.
Mr Speaker, I have not sought advice on the cost of withdrawing from the contractual arrangements that the territory has entered into. I have not done so because I believe that, without a doubt, the cost would be substantial. We have entered into a contractual arrangement for the development of section 56 and any attempt by the territory to withdraw from that almost invariably would mean costs to the territory. For that reason, I am not prepared to countenance that, particularly when I do not believe that the arguments are sufficient to justify a withdrawal from the arrangements.
Section 56 is a significant redevelopment project in the middle of Civic. It is consistent with the government's policy of seeking higher density urban consolidation activity, both residential and retail and commercial activity, within Civic and within town centres. We want to see more residential development in Civic. This project is one part of achieving that. I am amazed that Ms Tucker-a person who argues for urban consolidation in strategic locations, as does this government-is prepared to jeopardise one of the most significant urban consolidation activities in terms of residential development within Civic itself. This government is not prepared to do that.
In relation to tabling the contract, I will seek advice on the matter and seek to answer Ms Tucker's question later today.
MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. Will you consider seeking to ascertain the cost? You said that you already know that it would be too much. I am asking you whether you will seek the information that I have asked for, which is the cost of changing this contract.