Page 1663 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Minister, there is a specific question but I am sure you are coming to that.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. What Mr Doszpot has to do is read the territory plan variation, read the government response at that time. The minister of the day responded to that specific issue of a bond. There was no legislative provision and no way of doing that

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, bank guarantees are a normal course of action in most commercial transactions, and this is no different. You are trying to confuse the issue with—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, the question.

MR DOSZPOT: I am coming to the question, Mr Speaker. Will you table the advice, minister—and stick to the point of what the question relates to—which supports your assertion that the government could not accept the committee’s recommendation to place a performance guarantee on the developer-owner of the Deakin pool site? I am really fighting for the developer here, am I not? I am actually trying to get you to answer a question—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot!

MR BARR: The minister at the time tabled the government response to the standing committee’s recommendation. The territory planning variation has those provisions in place. The issue that Mr Doszpot still does not quite get, even though I have explained it three times, is that the extra development rights that were tied to refurbishing the pool have not been taken up. So, even if there were a performance bond, he has not taken up the development rights; so there would be nothing to tie him to. We have in the territory planning variation the requirement that if he does extend his office space on that site, he must at the same time upgrade the pool. He has just never taken advantage of that.

Education—excursion fees

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training and concerns the Birrigai outdoor school. Noting the minister’s recently emphasised desire to see sustainability and environmental subjects feature prominently in school curriculums and be accessed by all students, is the minister aware that government primary school students are required to pay $15.50 each to attend the Birrigai outdoor school when visits to similar outdoor schools across Australia are free or cost less than $5 per student? Can the minister justify this inflated cost?

MR BARR: There are costs associated with running a facility of the quality of Birrigai. We have a choice: if we want a quality facility, which we have at Birrigai, there is a cost associated with that. I do not believe that $15.50 is an outrageous fee.

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