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Notice given 29 April 2003

*1416  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to Defence land at Point Nepean:

(1) Given that the media release, dated 9 April 2003, by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence refers to ‘giving the Victorian Government one month to take up the offer of a priority sale of the remaining 90 hectares’ and yet an advertisement in the Financial Review of 22 April 2003 inviting expressions of interest in the land refers to 85 hectares: (a) What is the correct size of the land for sale; and (b) what is the reason for the discrepancy.

(2) Is it still the case, as the Government has publicly indicated, that residential development will not be permitted on this 85 hectares; if so: (a) why was this not indicated in the advertisement; (b) would a residential prohibition also rule out a hotel or other tourist accommodation being construction on the site; and (c) what environmental and/or heritage restrictions would apply to tourist accommodation.

(3) Does the Government intend selling the land freehold absolutely.

(4) Is the Government prepared to alienate the land so that it comes under the jurisdiction of the Victorian State Government’s planning provisions or the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme.

(5) Would proposed developments be subject to: (a) the Victorian State Government’s planning scheme zoning controls; (b) the controls relating to native vegetation; (c) the requirements of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Vic.); (d) the requirements of the Heritage Act 1995 (Vic.); (e) the requirements of the Archaeological and Aboriginal Preservation Act 1972 (Vic.); and (f) the requirements of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic.).

(6) Would proposed developments be subject to the Victorian State Government’s height limits, visual amenity rules and controls to protect the adjacent national park.

(7) Will the Government consider long-term lease arrangements for the site; if so: (a) under what conditions; (b) is it the case that the Government would do so to allow developers to evade Victorian State Government planning controls; and (c) under lease arrangements, from which ‘relevant authorities’ would development approvals need to be sought.

(8) With regard to the 20 hectare site proposed to be handed over to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council: (a) will the Minister adopt the Victorian State Government’s suggestion that it be reserved as Crown land for public purposes under the Crown Land Reserves Act 1978  (Vic.) and for the council to be appointed as the Committee of Management; (b) can details be provided of discussions and correspondence between the Commonwealth and the Mornington Peninsula Shire with regard to this land; (c) was this land granted to the Mornington Peninsula Shire at its request; (d) has the Mornington Peninsula Shire developed a management plan for the site; if not, when will it do so and by what process; (e) will the Commonwealth provide the Mornington Peninsula Shire with funds to manage the land; if so, on what conditions; and (f) is the Minister satisfied that the Mornington Peninsula Shire will be able to manage this nationally-significant site; if so, on what basis.

(9) Given that the Victorian State Government claims that the proposed boundary for this site is inconsistent with the master plan findings and ‘fails to protect the natural and historic values of the site’, will the Government agree to the following recommendations by the Victorian Government: (a) the inclusion of the Northern Conservation Precinct (#2) and the Jarman precinct (#3) with the Southern Conservation precinct as part of this transfer; (b) [If the Commonwealth is determined to sell the Norris Barracks,] the boundaries of the Barracks being defined as they are shown for Precinct #4 in the Master Plan in Figure 7.1 of the Parsons Brinkenhoff report; (c) access to the Norris Barracks via Franklands Road with Defence Road being wholly incorporated in the National Park with the existing park Visitor Centre remaining the principal entry point to the park; and (d) excision of the beach and foreshore from the site to provide sufficient area for pedestrian access along the foreshore into the National park from Portsea.

(10) Would a commercial heliport be considered an ‘appropriate development’ for the site.

(11) Has the Government had any discussions or correspondence with Mornington Peninsula Shire or other parties concerning the development of a heliport on the site; if so, can details be provided.

(12) What were the conditions under which Mr Lindsay Fox was granted permission to use the former Norris Barracks site as a heliport over the 2002-03 summer period.