Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 4 December 2013
Parliamentary Record 9
Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 4 December 2013 3142 groups like badminton are found new homes by the government. That is the first step in the process. The second is that it is community purpose land and should remain for a community purpose. There are a variety of community needs the community purpose land could serve; growing a local seniors population is one and Southern Cross, which is next door, has expressed an interest in that land. Soon after the last election, when we were moved into opposition, I met with Southern Cross and I spoke with John Coleman, who at the time was the acting Chief of Staff for the then Chief Minister, Terry Mills. We arranged a meeting between Southern Cross and the then Chief Minister to explain that Southern Cross is a seniors group which would like to expand its services to the local Darwin region, provide therapeutic care and look after seniors who are living in their own homes. They were told that land would be available at some stage in the future, for a price. They would have to buy that land. It is community purpose land for a community purpose. Southern Cross, despite having a community purpose mind, does not have access to the land. Let us also bear in mind that nothing should happen on that space until the people who use that space, like badminton, actually have a new home. Unfortunately, Southern Cross was told, No, you have to come with a chequebook, and Southern Cross, being a not-for-profit community organisation, does not operate in that way. Government land should be used for its best purpose, not its best price. The other community purpose that land could serve is its current purpose, which is organised sport. Sports House might be at the end of its useful life, as we have heard. Not all of Sports House is at the end of its useful life; parts of it are still quite functional. While parts of Sports House might be at the end of their useful life, that does not mean the land cannot be redeveloped and provide new public facilities for sport and recreation. There is no reason why we need to ignore the current use of that land. It is currently community purpose land and it is serving a community purpose; badminton is a community purpose. They are using that land and there is no reason why, if we redevelop that site, we suddenly have to go to high-density residential housing in an area which is full of high-density residential housing. There is more housing going up all the time. There is no reason why that community purpose land cannot continue to serve a community purpose. I want to put on the public record another aspect of this debate. The main point of this debate today is that badminton should have a new home and we support badminton having a new home. We will keep working with badminton for that purpose. There are other consequences to that decision to move Sports House from the land it is on, with the changing nature of the land it is on from a community purpose to high-density residential housing. This is where we also have an issue with this government; a different minister is involved in that. Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to table my correspondence with residents, the Planning Commission, the Minister for Lands, Planning and the Environment and correspondence concerning the interests of Southern Cross, as neighbours. Leave granted Mr GUNNER: It is important, for the full context of this debate, to know it is about more than not having a home for badminton. It is about a cash grab of community purpose land. It is hasty, unseemly and does not serve the needs of local residents. Community purpose land should remain for a community purpose. It has been zoned for a community purpose for a reason. It recognises the high-density residential living around it. When more people live in an area, you provide more services to that area. That is the point of community purpose land. We support badminton. We support their search for a new home, or the possible development of a new home on that site. We support them in their endeavours, but we also have concerns as to why they need to find a new home. The haste of this government to move them and vacate Sports House, knock it down and sell it the reason we are having this debate is the other agenda to sell community purpose land in Fannie Bay for highdensity residential housing. I support the motion put forward by the member for Johnston and add those conditional concerns about the agenda and actions of the Country Liberal Party government. Mr VOWLES (Johnston): Mr Deputy Speaker, I thank all the members for their contributions. I do not agree with pretty much all of what was said by the other side, apart from the member for Port Darwin in some of his comments. I highlight that we were expecting this substandard response from a failing and useless minister for Sport. He is bungling everything he touches. You have a Chief Minister who is destroying a town like Gove, and we now have a minister for Sport who is destroying a sport like badminton in the Northern Territory. It is an absolute disgrace. He should be standing up for sports, not saying no. How about you take a leaf out of the member for Port Darwins book of consultation? The first
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