Page 2599 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 10 August 2016

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So, despite the fact that Minister Corbell had said that residential would not be allowed on the site, the government was told that if 122 apartments were allowed to be built on this site it would be worth $3.6 to $3.8 million. That is wildly different from the 47-page valuation which was provided to the government in the previous year.

You would think that when the LDA received a valuation for $1 million and then another for $3.8 million they would have preferred the first. You would think they would have at least asked for a third valuation. However, they ignored the first valuation and went with the valuation based on 122 units being built on the site, despite the fact that the government had stated, and I quote Mr Corbell from 2011:

It is not permitted to be used for residential development. The government does not support its use for residential development.

Sure enough, on 8 September last year, $4.1 million—I believe that amount includes GST—was paid for the block by the LDA.

There is the first issue for us to consider—the amount that was paid. Now let me go to the second issue: under what authority was the block actually purchased?

Under the Planning and Development Act 2007 the LDA has its authority. However, on 14 June 2014, the Minister for Economic Development, Mr Andrew Barr, issued a notifiable instrument stating:

I direct the Land Development Agency to act in accordance with the principles of the Land Development Agency—Land Acquisition Policy Framework, attached as a Schedule to this Instrument, when exercising the Agency’s functions under the Planning and Development Act 1997.

It goes on. Paragraph 1.1 in the schedule says:

The Land Acquisition Policy Framework provides the principles that are to govern the exercise of the Land Development Agency … functions under the Planning and Development Act 1997. The framework also supports the ACT Government’s Statement of Governance Arrangements for the Land Development Agency.

Paragraph 2.1 says:

All proposed acquisitions are to be assessed against the principles and associated tests provided in this Land Acquisition Policy Framework. All tests must be followed for an acquisition.

Paragraph 2.2.1 says:

The following thresholds and decision makers apply to all LDA land acquisitions:

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