Page 2728 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013
death or serious illness within a family or the owner or owners of these properties, significant financial hardship or other circumstances that need to be taken into account by the government.
But the government is taking a proactive approach to addressing failure to complete properties or develop land in a timely manner. Members would be aware that the government has recently been successful in resuming a property and resuming a lease in the west Belconnen area for a similar circumstance of undeveloped land. The government is also pursuing resumption of leases in a number of other instances at this time. So we are undertaking an assertive program of enforcement and compliance, and I expect to be in a position to announce in due course further results from that program.
I am very happy to take on notice the specifics of the sites that Mrs Jones refers to and provide further information to the member.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, why has the government let this issue drag on for so many years?
MR CORBELL: The government has not let the issue drag on. The facts are that the legal rights and entitlements of leaseholders have to be engaged, often through the judicial process, to ensure enforcement. People have rights. People have property rights and people have the right to have these issues tested in court. Therefore the government is frequently engaged in formal legal action with leaseholders to achieve compliance. But as I think the government has been able to demonstrate, we have been successful in achieving compliance. We were successful in obtaining a landmark decision from the ACAT recently which allowed us to formally resume a lease from a person who had not developed their land for close to a decade. We will continue this proactive program to achieve enforcement on other sites as well.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, do you have concerns about community safety arising from the abandoned sites?
MR CORBELL: The government is able to take steps in relation to community safety where those matters arise and we continue to keep a close eye on those matters.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, the Auditor-General’s report on the ACT’s bushfire preparedness noted that the government was in breach of the Emergencies Act 2004 for not making explicit, in the strategic bushfire management plan, all resources needed to meet the objectives of the plan. Additionally, an answer to a question taken on notice during the estimates period and received on 9 July 2013 noted that the government did not consider disclosure of emergency services requirements and capability information “appropriate for public