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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12923


Mr Horne asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 21 October 1999:

In respect of the preparation of the valuation of the Stockton Rifle Range, what weighting was given to the (a) preservation of the heritage assets and sites, particularly in the light of the recently completed Heritage Assessment of the site, (b) cost to preserve those assets and upon whom would the obligation rest, (c) removal of the area upon which the significant assets rest from the area to be sold, (d) removal of contaminants from the site, both surface and buried, notably asbestos and ordnance from past usage, (e) State's coastal lands policy, (f) impact upon the site if the Kooragang Airport proceeds, (g) diminution in the available useable area from the encroachment of the dunes and (h) estimated $14 to $30 million cost to stabilise the dunes if residential development is to occur.


Mr Moore (Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The most recent valuation was undertaken in May 1998 on the basis of continued use of the Stockton Rifle Range as a rifle range. Two earlier valuations undertaken in September and October 1996 were on the basis of the sale of the property for residential development.

(a) The 1999 heritage assessment identifies five areas spread over the site as having moderate to high cultural significance, two areas of the site having moderate to high natural heritage significance, and two aboriginal artefact sites. In the context of the earlier valuations, it is considered that the location of these features is such that residential development would not be unduly constrained, as they could be contained within the open space provisions of the development.

(b) The cost and responsibility to preserve those areas considered by the relevant State and local authorities to be of heritage significance, and as being worthy of preservation, would reside with the future owner or owners, and the State and local governments.The actual cost would depend on the type of heritage asset and the management regime required for its preservation.

(c) As advised in part (a) the location of these heritage features/areas is such that residential development would not be unduly constrained as they could be contained within the open space provision of the development. Neither valuation assumes residential development occurring on the dunes.

(d) In the absence of precise information on the nature and extent of any contamination all valuations have been made on the assumption that the property is uncontaminated. In the event of residential development being proposed on part of the property, an assessment of the area proposed for development would be required, and depending on the results of that assessment, remediation to the standard required to permit residential development may be required.

(e) The New South Wales Coastal Policy was released in October 1997. Any revision of the residential valuations would need to take account of the principles and objectives for development outlined in this policy. However, without a development concept, the practical effects of this policy on the value of the property could not be determined.

(f) Defence understands that the Kooragang Airport proposal was released by its proponents earlier this year. If it goes ahead its effect on the property, if any, would need to taken into account in any subsequent revaluation.

(g) Both residential valuations are based on the assumption that only between 45 to 50 hectares of this 111.3 hectare property could be developed, because of the development limitations imposed with the sand dunes. Residential development on the property may or may not require stabilisation of the dunes, or some other management regime as determined by the State and local government authorities, to prevent them encroaching on the development area.

(h) Both valuers who valued the property for residential development adopted different approaches to how the cost of the dune stabilisation could be addressed in determining the value of the property. Each attributed a different level of risk based on the estimated extent of dune stabilisation and associated maintenance. Defence is not aware of the existence or basis of any estimates of $14 to $30 million to stabilise the dunes on Stockton Rifle Range if residential development were to occur.