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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 4200 ..

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I agree. I think it could have been handled better and certainly I have met with the association and agreed to have further meetings with them. I think it is useful. From listening to the association, I think there is a view that some of their issues have not been progressed or listened to. We need to be doing things a bit better, particularly if we are trying not only to retain counsellors but also to encourage more people to take up those jobs.

Land sale-Harrison 1 estate

MR CORNWELL: My question is to Mr Corbell. Minister, Harrison stage 1 was sold on 13 August for a record price. When the government had not settled three weeks after the due date we began to make inquiries about the reasons for the delay. Over a period of two days a number of reasons were given as to why the government had not settled. These were: firstly, failure to withdraw the rural lease properly; secondly, the land was subject to the Commonwealth's approval under the Environment Protection (Biodiversity and Conservation) Act; thirdly, the final development plan had not been lodged; fourthly, the final survey of the block had not been done; and fifthly, the old favourite, the perennial staff shortages.

Since then you have been reported as saying that the delay was due to the failure to send the new plan to the Land Titles Office. We now have six excuses. Could you, please, tell the Assembly, Minister, why the government failed to complete the sale of Harrison 1 within the 56 days allowed in the condition of sale?

MR CORBELL: I am very happy to answer Mr Cornwell's question. Can I first preface it, Mr Speaker, by saying that the government has sold Harrison 1 and the full payment has been made by the successful bidder. Contrary to the assertions by those opposite in past weeks who were hoping-secretly wishing, even-that the sale would fall through, I can assure the Assembly-

Mr Stanhope: Talking business down.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I would like the Chief Minister to withdraw the comment. We were not talking business down. At no stage did anyone in the opposition say that the business could not pay for it.

MR SPEAKER: I cannot rule in your favour. There is no point of order.

MR CORBELL: I think Mrs Dunne protests too much, Mr Speaker. The details in Mr Cornwell's question surround the circumstances that resulted in the delay to settle. The fact is that the land was withdrawn. It was in the possession of the Land Development Agency. Before a new lease could be issued so that settlement could take place, there was a requirement that the withdrawal plan that indicated the withdrawal had occurred needed to be lodged with the Registrar-General's Office, the Land Titles Office. There was a delay in submitting that due to a person being absent from the planning authority. That was addressed. That work has now been done. When a new lease was available to be issued, the settlement occurred.

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