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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1294 ..

a significant urban renewal opportunity close to the Dickson group centre. In December 2013 David Dawes approved the purchase of the two section 72 blocks as part of the negotiations for the sale of the Tradies car park site.

The government has announced that one of these purchases, the former Downer club site—that is, block 25 section 72—will be used for the Common Ground development similar to the existing development in Gungahlin. Common Ground combines a mix of affordable units and housing for homeless persons with support services and a stable community. Community consultation has also been undertaken by the public housing renewal task force and economic development on a territory plan variation to add residential uses for the sites on section 72.

Block 6 section 72, I am advised, was purchased by the government on 19 December 2014 for $3.55 million plus GST. Block 25 section 72 was purchased on 19 February 2016 for $45,000 plus GST. Settlement on block 25 section 72 was postponed until after the demolition of the former Downer club by the Canberra Tradesmen’s Union Club. Contracts have been exchanged with the Canberra Tradesmen’s Union Club on block 30 section 34 Dickson, the Tradies car park site, for the sale price of $3.18 million. Because a development was already proposed for another major car park site at Dickson, block 21 section 30, the government made arrangements to ensure car parking in the Dickson area would not be further impacted by the sale of the Dickson Tradies car park.

To limit the impact on parking the government included a clause in the contract that settlement on the sale of the Dickson Tradies car park site could not occur until development had been completed and a certificate of occupancy had been granted for the development on the nearby car park site, block 21 section 30. Because the development of 21-30 has been delayed and is yet to start, the settlement for the Dickson Tradies car park site is still some way off.

The Tradesmen’s Union Club was granted a 42-month sublease of the buildings it already occupied on block 6 section 72 at a nominal rate, and the decision was made in consideration of a number of factors including the government’s requirement for a delayed settlement on the Tradies car park site. Other factors in agreeing to the sublease included avoiding the potential cost to the territory of having to maintain a vacant block for an extended period of time. There are benefits to the territory in not being responsible for maintenance and upkeep on a vacant building for an extend period of time.

As part of their sublease the Canberra Tradesmen’s Union Club is responsible for maintenance of the site and its buildings until the end of the sublease. The sale and purchase arrangement allowed the government to secure ownership of two key blocks of land to consolidate a significant urban renewal site, while ensuring the public car park on block 30 section 34 would remain available to the public while other significant development works took place in the Dickson area.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (6.26): I rise to move the amendment circulated in my name:

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