Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 13 March 1968

Mr SPEAKER - There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr J R Fraser - The Committee believes the report now presented will be of value to the Minister for the Interior (Mr Nixon) and to the Government in the determination of policy and action, and in ensuring fair treatment to those owners of freehold land whose acres must be acquired for Commonwealth purposes consequent on the growth and development of the national capital. The Committee recommends initially that all freehold land in the ACT should be subject to control of its subdivision and use. It recommends further that the Commonwealth should now proceed to acquire areas required for the establishment of a new water storage and the protection of its catchment area; those areas required for urban development of the national capital during the next15 years; and those areas required for institutional and recreational purposes during the next 15 years. In all cases the Committee recommends that all purchases must be on fair and just terms as provided under the Lands Acquisition Act.

The Committee recognises that all land currently held under freehold must ultimately be required for Commonwealth purposes but it recommends against immediate acquisition of all freehold lands unless a survey shows that acquisition now would be more economic for the Commonwealth than acquisition at time of need. In order that the public may be fully advised of future planning, the Committee recommends that the National Capital Development Commission and the Department of the Interior should prepare an overall development plan for the whole of the ACT which should be published in the Commonwealth Gazette and in local newspapers and displayed freely for public inspection.

In paragraph 47 the Committee expresses grave concern at unexplained delays by the Department of the Interior in dealing with applications concerning the subdivision and use of freehold land and the acquisition by the Commonwealth of freehold land. The Committee seeks from the Minister a reference to permit it to inquire further into these matters. I think it must be said that it is not the Committee's aim to place blame unjustly on the shoulders of departmental officers. It seeks the reference so that it may determine why citizens dealing with the Department have had to face what seem to be extraordinary delays, denying to them the information they were entitled to expect and to receive in respect to their valuable possessions, their freehold lands. Any assumption that the fault lies with the Department could be unjust to zealous officers who may have been inhibited by ministerial indecision or lack of firm Government policy.

Finally, the Committee once again recommends that immediate action should be taken to amend its Resolution of Appointment enabling it to undertake investigations upon its own initiative. The Committee feels strongly that it should not be restricted to consideration only of those matters the Minister for the Interior chooses to refer to it.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Suggest corrections