Page 3311 - Week 10 - Friday, 26 August 2005

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the restrictions on the sale of this property the ACT government has negotiated with the ANU.

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. Dr Foskey ignores your request to remain relevant. She is continuing to refer to a development which is not a concessional lease and has no relationship whatsoever with the bill we are debating this morning. I would ask you to draw her to order.

MR SPEAKER: Dr Foskey, I have already called on you to remain relevant to the bill being debated. If you are not prepared to do so, you might resume your seat.

DR FOSKEY: I hope that that will be the case for everyone. The future debate, which will be effected by the bill before us, is a broad ranging one. It is interesting that people would like to close these things down, but these things have quite broad implications.

MR SPEAKER: I do not know whether you are referring to me or not, but there are standing orders which require speakers in debates to remain relevant. That is all I was drawing your attention to. There was no move by me to close the debate down.

DR FOSKEY: I was not implying that there was, Mr Speaker. The future debate to be effected by the bill before us will be based on the question as to whether credit should be given for the level of community service provided by the holder of a concessional lease and if that lessee could be considered to have repaid the amount of the concession in kind over a period of time on the one hand, and what ongoing stake in concessional leases the community has on the other. I support the bill and its proposed definition of “concessional leases”. I looked forward to the government response to the concessional leases review so we can get on to the real debate.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (10.31), in reply: I thank members for their support—I think. This bill, as members have rightly identified, is a small but not insignificant amendment to clarify the provisions of concessional leases here in the ACT. The purpose of this bill is to address the fact that, apart from one reference in the Land (Planning and Environment) Act regulations with regard to the valuation of leases sold for less than market value, there is no reference in any territory legislation to the term “concessional lease”, even though the term is well understood in the broader community and in this place.

For that reason the government has decided to legislate to make clear that there is such a lease available within the territory and that it needs to be administered in a particular way. Formalising the definition of concessional lease is an important step in establishing such a regime. Dr Foskey, in her speech this morning on this bill, has raised issues about the government’s response to the review of concessional leasing in the ACT that I commissioned about two years ago.

That review of concessional leasing is under active consideration by the government at this time. I can assure Dr Foskey and other members that the reason the government is proceeding in the timeframe it has in relation to this review is that it has been decided that the issues relating to the administration of concessional leases are very much tied up with issues to do with the overall administration of the leasehold in the ACT and, given that those matters are subject to the planning system reform project, which has recently

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