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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2540 ..



One of the principal concerns here is that the delay and the uncertainty will mean that the already overheated land market will continue to overheat. Mr Wood said in the budget debate that we're now getting to the stage where, for first home owners to have enough money to service the entry price, they need to have a family income of $80,000. That's unprecedented; it's well beyond the capacity of people on average weekly earnings to actually now get to a situation where they can afford to enter into the market. If they've got two or three kids and they need to upgrade, it is right beyond them. We need to be constantly vigilant and constantly working for the best interests of the people of the ACT to ensure that we aren't doing things or aiding and abetting in things which will cause that market to overheat any more.

What has happened in this case is that the actions of a government agency, which have now been condoned by this minister in this place on two or three occasions, mean that there is increasing uncertainty; there is increasing dissatisfaction. I was at a social function last night where I met a number of builders-generally speaking, not big players, not the sort of person who goes to an auction and is able to bid $38 million for a parcel of land; somebody who might develop 20 houses here and five townhouses somewhere else and do that over the course of two or three years-and they are very concerned about what is happening generally with housing prices in the ACT and are deeply, deeply transfixed by this farce that is being conducted under the auspices of this minister and the Gungahlin Development Authority.

The really important principle here is to find out whether the Gungahlin Development Authority is acting in a way that inspires confidence and will inspire continuing confidence in the people of the ACT. To do that, and so that we have confidence in the Gungahlin Development Authority and its successor and so that we can have confidence in this minister, it is important that the piece of paper on which everything hinges, all these actions hinge, is made available to this Assembly so that it can be properly scrutinised.

Without that, there is no certainty for the developer concerned; there is no certainty for other players in this process; and there is no certainty for the people of the ACT that their best interests are being looked after. Providing this advice-and it could have been done on Tuesday in a simple and straightforward way-is important; it is important for the basic principles of governance of this territory. It needs to be done now and it should be done graciously. I propose-and I will circulate it in writing-an amendment to the motion as it stands on the notice paper requiring that the minister table the advice before the house adjourns today.

I commend the motion to the house.


(Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (11.07): I am pleased that the members of the crossbench, with the exception of Ms Tucker, feel this is such an important issue that they're not present in the chamber to listen to the debate. Mr Speaker, I'd like them to do me the courtesy at least of listening to the government's argument before making a decision on this issue.

Mrs Dunne is proposing in the motion today that the government table a piece of legal advice on an issue which, as has already been signalled publicly by Mr David Dawes

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