Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 August 2016) . . Page.. 2601 ..
acquisitions earlier in the year were able to occur. Not only is the delegation from the LDA board of 27 August questionable, but three land purchases were made months before this board meeting apparently used the delegated power. At best, this is sloppy governance; at worst, it is a very serious matter.
Madam Deputy Speaker, there is much that can be said about this situation. The first problem is that the wildly higher two-page valuation advice was accepted over the comprehensive 47-page valuation which was millions less. Secondly, the LDA did not comply with the minister’s land acquisition policy framework and instead, I think, used a questionable delegation put in place two weeks before the settlement. Thirdly, this questionable delegation, which was put in place two or three weeks before this purchase, does not cover the fact that there were three other purchases earlier in the year which did not comply with the minister’s direction, according to an answer which was provided by the agency.
Of course, given the government’s dealings and desires to expand the casino project, it does not take much of an imagination to consider that perhaps this block was purchased to enable a casino expansion. Whilst the government says that it was purchased for stormwater reasons, we all know that actually doing any work with regard to this stormwater seems like many years away.
Madam Deputy Speaker, the opposition have been prudent in dealing with this issue cautiously and respectfully. We have gathered the facts despite many roadblocks, not the least of which was an FOI which took many months to be delivered and came back heavily redacted.
The opposition will continue to push for transparency on this issue. I am concerned about how many other issues there are in the LDA, and perhaps other agencies, that we do not know about. It is important that we as an Assembly make a stand against such poor processes and seek an explanation as to how this happened. I ask members to support what I believe is a reasonable request for information about this very serious matter.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.31): I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
(1) notes that:
(a) the Land Development Agency (LDA) purchased Block 24 Section 65 City to relocate the Coranderrk Street water control pond as part of the City to the Lake project;
(b) improvements to stormwater capacity in the inner north are crucial as population in the catchment grows;
(c) early studies informing the City to the Lake project first identified Glebe Park as the preferred option for a relocated pond in 2013;