Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5118 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
in the sale of land in Civic Centre (section 56) to the Queensland Investment Corporation, the replacement of the Griffin Centre, and the subsequent design process;
(2) the inevitable conflicts that have now arisen in terms of accommodating a large and diverse range of services and activities in a new building with a substantially smaller footprint.
Calls on the Government to:
(3) develop and implement, as a matter of urgency, a plan to accommodate the vital community-run services for marginalized people that are presently in unsatisfactory or impermanent accommodation around the city, recognizing that these services include, but are not limited to CAHMA, the free food program, WIREDD and Directions; and
(4) not sign off on any final designs for the building intended to replace the existing Griffin Centre until these accommodation issues have been satisfactorily resolved.
Many problems have arisen as a result of the mismanagement of the Griffin Centre project, which has been a long time coming. The plan to redevelop the Bunda Street car park and, in the process, to replace the Griffin Centre and nearby youth facilities dates back to 1997, but at no time has there been a strategic analysis of the need for community facilities in Canberra city. There has been no proper attempt to carry out such an analysis. Under the plan the government has used retail and accommodation development to fund and develop new community facilities, but our real needs have not been factored into the equation.
Part of the problem lies in the premise that a developer could simply be charged with offering one-to-one replacement; that land would be sold at a suitable discount to ensure that that happened; and that sites chosen for youth and community projects would be out of the way and use the least possible amount of land. That is what we get if we simply pursue the business model. In 1997 land values were much lower, so it is interesting to speculate how much better the territory might have done if the government had chosen to manage that development itself and auction off the land block by block for private use.
At the time this issue was raised with the government and members of the public it was pointed out that we were doing ourselves out of the benefit of the inevitable increase in land values. But the deal had been done. Arguably, a significantly higher profit from the site could have bought the territory larger and better facilities and higher profile locations. But the community sector and the provision of accommodation have not been priorities in this process. It is worth noting that in March 2000 the former minister for urban services, Mr Smyth, was reassuring when I raised concern about the fact that community need was not being addressed.
I pointed out that the functional brief for the buildings was being negotiated without consideration having been given either to the cultural action plan for Civic or to the audit of community facilities in Civic and the inner north that were being conducted by his department at the time. He advised the Assembly that the work would be taken into account. He said he was confident that the Queensland Investment Corporation and the