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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1574 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I said that it does seem a little ridiculous, depending on the returns that are available, to be renting property at the same time as investing in volatile shares-something, as you know, Mr Stefaniak, I warned against in 1998. Some of my 1998 predictions have come true-I just happened to be the mug on the other side of this house when they happened.

I have looked no further. I cannot even give you any detail. I do not even know what the real rate of return is on property investment-whether it can get anywhere near our more recent targets of 3 per cent in the short term and 4 per cent in the medium term before we are game to increase our risk profiles. So it is really one of those things that was picked up and probably gained a little bit more prominence than it ought have had.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, you said that this is something you have not looked at in detail. Why are you putting forward possible options for superannuation investments when you actually have not done adequate research into them?

MR QUINLAN: There has been a lot of work done, by the way, in Treasury. It was an example. It is a matter that I have discussed with Treasury-that here are the areas we will look at; we do actually talk to each other. We might look at the profile of a portfolio that we carry. As I just said, this was an example. So really I was not putting it forward. I guess that is where the confusion lies. I did not put it forward and say, "Yeah, yeah, we are going to do that."

Trees in Nettlefold Street, Belconnen

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Stanhope as Minister for the Environment and as Chief Minister. It is about significant trees. I say it is an all-of-government question because it does require that perspective, given that the Commissioner for the Environment stated, in his report of October 2002, that a more empathetic system is needed for dealing with such stands of remnant trees on all land to be considered for any type of development in the ACT-this applies especially for unleased land identified for possible sale.

My question today relates to the impact of the proposed development on the survival of the remaining trees and, in particular, their water needs. As the Environment Commissioner has pointed out-and, as I am sure you are aware-the significant alteration to ground levels for the driveway and parking area, and the hard surfaces that will surround the remaining trees, are likely to have a drastic impact on their water supply.

My question is: when the decision was made, was a long-term hydrological assessment conducted and, if so, can you table it in this place by close of business today?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Ms Tucker for the question. In relation to the last part of the question you asked, I don't know whether there was an independent hydrological assessment undertaken in relation to the watering requirements, or the impact of proposed development on the root systems, of the trees at Nettlefold Street. If there was such an assessment done, I am more than happy to table it. I will obtain it from my department today and happily table it.

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