Page 4441 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Treasurer, why did you respond to the comment as you did?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not accepting that at this point in time. It may not appear on their website, but I am very confident that ACT Treasury have addressed absolutely every issue that has been raised by different governments and indeed by the Commonwealth Grants Commission. Indeed, I am aware of a number of their arguments. I am not necessarily going to articulate that in this chamber while the decision making process is still continuing, but that has been favourably received by the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

What I am concerned about is a political campaign that is being waged against me, attempting to influence or threaten the decisions of the Commonwealth Grants Commission and the credibility of our Treasury to demonstrate evidence-based and good data to the Commonwealth Grants Commission to ensure that we get the best deal. I presume that the opposition share the government’s view that we need to get the best deal out of this. At the end of the day, I presume that is what you are after.

Your questions yesterday on small areas of the whole process were all designed presumably to get to the end where we all in this chamber want the best deal for the ACT. I am surprised, because I do not think your behaviour demonstrates that. I think your behaviour and your questioning are trying to indicate that the government are not taking this process seriously, and that we are not engaging. We are engaging. I have stood here and explained the process to you, and the process is ongoing. The Grants Commission are still considering the submissions that the ACT government has taken to them, and indeed I am aware of further meetings to be held. (Time expired.)

Deakin swimming pool

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns ACTPLA enforcing lease conditions. In March this year you informed the Assembly that ACTPLA was preparing a breach notice for the owner of the Deakin pool site, requiring the owner to rectify the breach of lease conditions within six months. Now that six months has expired, could you please explain whether the pool is now open to the public again or whether ACTPLA has terminated the crown lease?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I can advise the Assembly that the Planning and Land Authority did indeed issue that breach notice. I can also advise the Assembly that the lessee then appealed that notice to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal. That appeal was lodged in late June, and I understand the parties are currently negotiating under the purview of ACAT and that a final resolution will be reached.

Of course I am not privy to the nature of the ACAT negotiations and the process that goes on there, but there is a formal legal process around the breach of lease conditions. ACTPLA has followed that process in accordance with the law and the lessee has also pursued his legal rights to appeal such a legal response from ACTPLA, and it is with ACAT at this point.

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