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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3032 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The issue of land speculation practices has always, including the previous Government, been monitored with a view to maintaining a system that recognises administrative and commercial necessity and practicality. I can only assume that successive Liberal governments did nothing about imposing restrictions on consent to dealing in undeveloped land for that reason.

I have received a briefing in relation to the current practices of issuing consents under section 180 of the Land Act. I propose to adopt an approach to land dealings that recognises the interest of the community in the leasehold estate, and actively discourages speculation in raw land.

However, I am taking further detailed advice before considering the options of giving any formal direction. I recognise that PALM, in appreciation of the Government's wishes, has been advising conveyancing practitioners and clients that this Government will not be taking a passive approach to certain dealings that are clearly only speculative. The existing law and procedures are adequate to allow a refusal of consent in situations where there is no clear intent to develop the land being conveyed.

Mrs Dunne would be aware that a direction under section 180 of the Act is a disallowable instrument and therefore that there is, at this stage, no such direction. I will advise this Assembly immediately should the Government determine that a formal direction is appropriate.

I expect all members would wish to see the intention of the leasehold system is upheld.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question. The minister can write the answer, to be provided later in the day, if he wishes. I want to know why, if he received this information before the house rose, he did not bring it here but rather went and briefed the media.

MR CORBELL: It was just a matter of timing, Mr Speaker.

Regional commercial television news services

MR HARGREAVES: I note the reluctance of members to rise in their places, Mr Speaker.

Mr Stefaniak: Do not ask Mr Corbell a dorothy dixer, John!

MR HARGREAVES: I would never do that, Mr Stefaniak, because I do not want to see the answer in braille. Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister and, I might add, the best Chief Minister we have had in seven years.

Mr Humphries: Is this me you are referring to, or him?

MR HARGREAVES: I have been through all the ministers now, Mr Humphries.

Members will be aware that, on Tuesday, the Australian Broadcasting Authority released a report into its investigation of regional commercial television news services. Can the Chief Minister say if the government has had an opportunity to assess the report?

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