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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 116

Senator Chris Evans asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 3 August 2004:

With reference to the Bambi Kindergarten at Ingleburn in New South Wales:

(1) Is the kindergarten situated on Defence land.

(2) Does the Government propose to sell the land on which the kindergarten is situated.

(3) When is the sale expected to occur.

(4) What is the size of the site occupied by the kindergarten.

(5) What is the size of the entire package of land at Ingleburn that is to be sold.

(6) What is the current valuation of the Ingleburn land.

(7) When was the kindergarten established.

(8) What will happen to the kindergarten once the land is sold.

(9) What advice and/or options has Defence provided to the kindergarten about its future following the sale of the land.

(10) Is Defence aware of the kindergarten's historical attachment to the site, including the establishment of a Korean War Memorial.

(11) Was this historical attachment taken into account by Defence when deciding the future of the site on which the kindergarten sits.

(12) Has Defence considered `gifting' the kindergarten site to the kindergarten so that it can continue to operate; if not, why not.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Yes. The kindergarten leases a small portion of the Defence land at Ingleburn under a concessional lease arrangement.

(2) The Defence land at Ingleburn was declared surplus to requirements in 1997 and vacated by Defence in December 2000. The Defence site is an integral part of the Edmondson Park Release Area which, as announced by the NSW Government on 25 September 2003, is to be rezoned to include approximately 8,500 homes and a town centre. Defence, as a stakeholder, is working with both Liverpool and Campbelltown Councils towards the Edmondson Park rezoning, with planning documentation to be exhibited by both councils shortly.

(3) Disposal of the site is due to commence this financial year, but the timing for the disposal of portions of the site has not yet been finalised.

(4) Approximately 0.2 hectares.

(5) Approximately 311 hectares.

(6) Valuations for surplus Defence sites prior to the sale of the property are considered commercial-in-confidence and not made available to the public.

(7) Defence understands the kindergarten was established in 1952, but it was initially established in another location on the Ingleburn site.

(8) The kindergarten's concessional lease is due to expire on 28 February 2005. However, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence has recently offered the kindergarten a further and final 12-month extension to its lease term. Should the kindergarten accept the lease extension offer, this will enable the kindergarten to remain in its current location until 28 February 2006, at which time the kindergarten will need to secure alternative accommodation.

(9) Defence has advised the kindergarten, on a number of occasions since 1997, of the intention to dispose of the site in accordance with the Commonwealth Property Disposals Policy. Defence has suggested the kindergarten contact the local councils and relevant state agencies regarding future pre-school and kindergarten services for Edmondson Park, noting Defence will not be involved in the future redevelopment of the area.

(10) and (11) Yes. A heritage analysis of the site, completed in 2001 by Godden Mackay Logan, identified the Bambi Kindergarten is one of the few features on the site that represents the Korean period. However, the analysis concluded that the significance rested in the use and activity rather than the buildings themselves, which need not be retained, and that future decisions about the Bambi Kindergarten as an activity and community facility would be subject to the commercial viability of the activity. The heritage analysis also concluded that the Korean War Memorial should be conserved in its present location or relocated in association with other memorials. Defence has offered to relocate and preserve the memorial within the Ingleburn Military Heritage Precinct, which houses a number of other memorials and conserved heritage buildings, and which was recently added to the new Commonwealth Heritage List.

(12) The kindergarten has been assessed as not eligible for concessional priority sale status under the Commonwealth Property Disposals Policy (a concessional sale being a priority sale concluded at a purchase price below market value). In addition, the present location of the kindergarten sits within the footprint identified for a future high school in the draft planning documents for the Edmondson Park Release Area, of which the Defence land at Ingleburn forms a significant part.