Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2011) . . Page.. 2259 ..
MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.
MS LE COUTEUR: What is the government’s commitment to maintaining the site as open space, which is becoming increasingly important in the city as the population increases?
MR CORBELL: The site is not designated as open space under the territory plan; the site is designated for a range of limited uses but with a strong landscape element. There is approval, I understand, embedded in the lease—or there is a right embedded in the lease—for a small commercial development such as for a restaurant or other recreational or social uses. It is not permitted to be used for residential development. The government does not support its use for residential development. The government will not consider any change to the territory plan that permits residential development or indeed any other development beyond that which has already been granted under the lease.
In relation to the question Ms Le Couteur asked me, it is the case that this area is contiguous with the formal gazetted Glebe Park area. That is why the development approval requires the owner to invest significantly in the landscape and maintenance of the area. That will continue to be the obligation on the leaseholder, as it is privately leased land.
MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, has the government considered suggesting to the developer that if the parkland is constructed it could be turned over to the government to reduce the owner’s ongoing maintenance costs?
MR CORBELL: The government remain open to that suggestion, should it be made, but it is not a matter that we have pursued at this time. The fact is that the use of the land is limited. There are obligations on the leaseholder to maintain the land and to maintain the landscape quality of the land that they own. We believe that it is entirely appropriate and reasonable that a leaseholder who has purchased the land understands the development rights they have under that lease, understands the obligations they have under that lease to maintain a landscape element, the leaseholder does just that and maintains the landscape quality to the degree expected under the lease.
MS HUNTER: A supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.
MS HUNTER: Minister, has there been consideration of a land swap or a transfer of development rights to allow the owner of the site to leave the parkland for public use?