Page 3963 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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MR BARR: was in fact, yes, under the change of use charge, and the before and after values were assessed in the valuation process as the same because the old scheme, the old change of use charge scheme, allowed a certain amount of off-site works and other works to be discounted against the change of use charge. That, of course, is not applicable in the lease variation charge process. With respect to the accusation that an LVC waiver was applied, the LVC did not exist at that time. It was under the old change of use charge scheme, and the process was followed to the letter of the law.

MR COE: Treasurer, are any Labor Club developments currently under active consideration for an LVC waiver?

MR BARR: Certainly not by me, and I believe I would be the only person who would be able to waive a lease variation under the current legislation. So, no, I have no such requests before me.

MR PARTON: What actions do you take to avoid conflicts of interest when considering LVC variations for Labor club projects?

MR BARR: I have not received any so the issue itself has not arisen. Were that to be the case, it would be appropriate to seek advice from the various sources available to me in relation to that matter.

The Assembly has, indeed, put in place a number of mechanisms for members to seek such advice in their role as members. Equally, I have the capacity to draw upon the advice of the ACT public service as well in relation to those matters. I would in those instances—in fact, in all instances—seek advice and input from relevant ACT government agencies in relation to any request for waiver or partial waiver of the lease variation charge.

As I have outlined to this place on a number of occasions, and consistent with what was reported in the newspaper today, there does need to be a public benefit associated with a waiver or partial waiver of the lease variation charge. There have been examples where such a public benefit exists and where it would be appropriate to provide a waiver.

Mr Coe: Like in Griffith.

MR BARR: In the instance that the Leader of the Opposition interjects with, yes, there is a substantial public benefit in the context of what has been constructed at the University of Canberra; that is to the benefit of all students at the university.

Mr Coe: Who got the benefit?

MR BARR: The benefit is with the University of Canberra, and the Brumbies and the broader community, witnessed in the physical building and all of the space, institutions and resources that are available. (Time expired.)

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