Adjourned debate on second reading
(Continued from 4 August 2016)
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 15:55 :55 ): In my briefing with the government on this bill, it was explained to me that this was a very simple bill that was needed to facilitate the development of the Riverbank. I understand that regardless of what my position is on the Riverbank redevelopment, the aims of this bill could be achieved through other methods; however, a bill was the simplest and most efficient way to achieve what was being sought.
I understand the bill is merely to suspend existing rights of stakeholders, including the Adelaide City Council, the Festival Centre Trust, the InterContinental Hotel and the Casino, so that work could be undertaken on the redevelopment. These rights would then be reinstated at the conclusion of the redevelopment, and I understand the stakeholders are all agreeable to this proposal.
On the surface this all seems acceptable; however, closer inspection of the bill raises a number of issues. One of my main concerns is that clause 6 of the bill outlines that the Casino site will now also include the expansion area. This essentially means that the Casino site will be expanded. I would be grateful if the minister could answer the following questions:
1.How much larger will the Casino site be as a result of including the expansion area into the included Casino area?
2.Will this expansion site continue to be considered part of the Casino area once the Riverbank redevelopment has been completed?
3.Will the rent the Casino pays increase as a result of this expanded area and, if so, by how much?
4.Can the minister advise if this is a method to permanently expand the Casino area?
Further to this, I have concerns that the bill will allow the minister of the day to simply suspend existing rights and interests, as well as create new rights and interests. At the moment I understand this is a process that would receive parliamentary oversight and scrutiny; however, insertion of these provisions will remove this.
This concerns me greatly, as the ASER Services Corporation has the care and control of common areas on behalf of the public. To remove public scrutiny and instead have ministerial discretion seems to contradict one of the main elements of the original act. I would be grateful to hear from the minister on this matter, and reserve my position on this bill until the final stages.