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Notice given 21 February 2002

131  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—

(1) What does the department plan to do with numbers 52 and 54 Temira Crescent, Darwin.

(2) (a) Why has the department withdrawn its offer to give numbers 52 and 54 Temira Crescent, Darwin, to the National Trust at no cost, as stated in a letter from Ms Janette Tate of the Domestic Property Group, on 4 December 1997, and subsequently accepted by the Trust in a letter dated 15 December 1997; (b) why has the department now asked the National Trust to pay $440 000 for the two buildings; and (c) does the department expect to receive $700 000 for the two properties on the open market.

(3) Does the department know how much money the Trust has spent maintaining the properties and, therefore, how much the Commonwealth has saved because of the Trust’s occupancy.

(4) Is the department aware that if the National Trust is made to purchase these two buildings it will severely curtail the Trust’s other conservation activities.

(5) Does the department agree that the best way to maintain the heritage values of these buildings and to ensure that the public continues to have access to them is either to give the properties to the Trust or to grant a crown lease in perpetuity to the Trust.

(6) Will the department consider transferring ownership of these two buildings to the Northern Territory Government.

(7) If the buildings are put up for private sale, how will the department ensure that the heritage values of the properties are maintained.

(8) (a) Is the department concemed that the private sale of these two historic buildings may either severely limit or totally restrict public access to these buildings, which are an important part of Darwin’s heritage; and (b) what will the department do to ensure that the public has continued access to these two buildings.