Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3636 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
advise how your proposal is different to or better than the previous failed attempt at socialised land development in the 1980s?
MR CORBELL: Well, I am fascinated by the use of the term "socialised land development"of course. What it is doing is making sure that the community gets a full return on the asset that it owns. That is what the government's policy is about. It amazes me continually that the opposition thinks it is all right to transfer that asset from the public purse to a private purse and thereby forgo some of the value of the land that is held by this community. If Mr Humphries wants to call it socialising, so be it. But, quite frankly, it is about protecting the community's interests in its asset.
The difference that Mr Humphries alludes to, I think, is a significant one. The difference is that, in the period up until the commencement of self-government and the period up until Commonwealth land development ceased, which if I remember correctly was in the early 1980s-
Mr Humphries: Late 1980s.
MR CORBELL: Late 1980s; I stand corrected. In that period, the Commonwealth essentially had a one-line budget for land development. They just gave the NCDC money and it was delivered to the land asset. That is not a particularly accountable, open or transparent way to deliver land sales or land development in any jurisdiction. It might have been all right for the Commonwealth to do it in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, but it certainly is not an accountable and business-focused approach. The difference now is that this government is proposing land development to be delivered by a commercially oriented government business enterprise, a new Land Development Agency-
Mr Humphries: Theirs wasn't?
MR CORBELL: No, it wasn't. It was administered by a department which had a single-line item to do basically what it wanted-and that is a very big difference indeed. This government is proposing, through the Planning and Land Bill, the establishment of a new Land Development Agency, with a board of directors who are responsible for the finances of that agency and the implementation of that agency's objectives. They are responsible for the appointment of a chief executive to administer the Land Development Agency and they are required to equip themselves in an appropriate commercial fashion, conscious of any directions that government gives it in relation to the government's priorities.
So there is a very big difference. We are putting in place an accountable mechanism for delivering land development that produces a better return to the community in terms of price, and a better outcome on the ground. That is a marked difference to the comments we have heard in the last couple of days from the Leader of the Opposition and his shadow planning minister, who seem to think that more of the same for Gungahlin is good enough. You know, not enough shops and too many houses-that is their policy for Gungahlin. But it is not the approach we are adopting.
The government's reforms in relation to land development establish an open and transparent government business model, a model which delivers land just in time, and a better income in terms of the return to the Canberra community-$17 million more per