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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4467 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

APRA. It would be appropriate for a committee to oversee and review the agency every six months so that it can report not to the minister but to the Assembly, the place where this legislation has its genesis and where everyone is ultimately responsible, so that in the long run we can see on a fairly timely basis whether this organisation is meeting its goals.

MR CORBELL ( Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (7.55): We had this debate on Mrs Dunne's failed amendment to require the Planning and Land Authority to report to the relevant committee of the Assembly. Mrs Dunne's argument seems to be that without this amendment there will be no accountability provisions in relation to the Land Development Agency. That is false.

Mrs Dunne would seem to think that other large government land development bodies such as the Kingston Foreshore Development Authority deserve less scrutiny than she is proposing. If she were consistent in her argument, she would accept that the Kingston Foreshore Development Authority is a government land developer and insist on the KFDA reporting to the relevant standing committee of this Assembly. The previous Liberal government, when it established the KFDA, did not require that, for the same reasons the government is arguing here.

The new Land Development Agency will have a very effective and rigorous series of reporting requirements. The legislation outlines that the business plan must be given to the minister to be tabled in the Assembly, and there is the usual range of formal reporting requirements-through annual reports and the scrutiny of the Estimates Committee both in the appropriation bill stage and in the annual report stage.

We believe those mechanisms have proved sufficiently rigorous for KFDA, the Gungahlin Development Authority, Totalcare, Actew and a whole range of other government business enterprises that deal with very large budgets. I do not think Mrs Dunne has made the argument in relation to this government business enterprise.

Mrs Dunne asserts that this is different because we are making the territory a monopoly provider of land. We already are. The leasehold system means that we already are the monopoly provider of raw land. The government is the only agency that delivers raw land to the territory. It is the agency that determines how much land is released. We are already a monopoly provider as a result of the leasehold system. Mrs Dunne's arguments do not stack up.

MS TUCKER (7.58): The Greens do not think there is valid justification for requiring the land agency to report twice a year. I have already explained my position on this. I think an annual report is sufficient. Through the Planning and Environment Committee and in any other way we choose, there will be opportunities for members of the Assembly to scrutinise the activities of the land agency. I support the desire for scrutiny, but I do not think this amendment is the way to do it. It is not a very efficient or effective response to the desire for scrutiny.

I wish to respond to some of the comments Mrs Dunne made before dinner. Mrs Dunne and the Liberals generally cite Harcourt Hill as the most dramatic failure of this sort of activity. Mrs Dunne mentioned that there was a country club aspect to that development.

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