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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4094 ..

MR CORBELL: Mr Snow said, "They do not seem to have any constructive suggestions to offer for the benefit of our community."The same can be said for the shadow minister for planning. The simple answer is, Mrs Dunne, it is against the law. It is against the law to sell land for less than market value. I would simply direct Mrs Dunne to the land act. The land act says that you cannot sell land for less than market value, Mrs Dunne. It's against the law, Mrs Dunne.

If Mrs Dunne is advocating that the government break the law, she comes from the old school-the Bruce Stadium school. Maybe that is why they are in the departure lounge right now. It's easier in the Senate; it works really well up there.

But it is against the law to sell land for less than market value. The Gungahlin Development Authority cannot sell the land for less than market value, and the Gungahlin Development Authority is the agent of the government for this government land development policy in relation to Yerrabi 2. Mrs Dunne makes the assertion that there has been this amazing increase in land value just because the government entered government land development. Well, I don't know where Mrs Dunne has been for the past five years. I don't know what she's been doing, but, quite frankly, land values have gone up for the past five years. Indeed, it is not a trend unique in the ACT; it is a trend right around the nation.

Opposition members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition will come to order.

MR CORBELL: I hear one of the candidates for the ticket out of the departure lounge, Mr Pratt, waking up over there. Mr Speaker, this is the man, by the way, who has been in the Legislative Assembly for only a year, and he decides he would rather be somewhere else. What about the people who elected you less than 12 months ago, Mr Pratt? What are you doing for them, Mr Pratt? Yes, I can see Mr Cornwell rubbing his hands-he can't wait to get his hands on the deputy spot over there. He will be a dynamic deputy leader of the opposition.

In response to the other part of Mrs Dunne's question, housing affordability is a key issue for this government and, unlike the previous government, we are taking concrete steps to address it. My colleague Mr Wood has been working closely with me and officers of Planning and Land Management in the development of a report on housing affordability in the ACT. That will be tabled, as I understand it, very shortly and that will outline the full suite of initiatives the government will then consider to address issues around housing affordability.

If land release is a potential mechanism, we will obviously use that. But, if it requires selling land at less than market value, it will require, Mrs Dunne, an amendment to the land act-as I am sure you would not want us to break the law.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. If Mr Corbell is so concerned about breaking the law, my supplementary question is: when the government released land to Community Housing Canberra recently in Gungahlin at less than market value, was it in fact in breach of the law?

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