Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE ( 18:20 ): The Greens do not oppose the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017. It is one of those bills that regularly come to the House containing a number of essential tidying-up provisions to ensure that legislation keeps track with all changes. We have raised a substantive concern about voluntary planning agreements. The bill contains a proposal to allow university councils to enter into voluntary planning agreements even in relation to land that was gifted to them or given to them at a discount by the State. Most campuses were given to universities for nothing or next to nothing. The only proposed protection for that land provides that a university cannot enter into a voluntary planning agreement to sell or lease the land it was given if it is proposing to sell, lease or dispose of the land for zero dollars.
The proposed protection in the bill is that a university council cannot dispose of gifted land under a voluntary planning agreement if it is going to give it away. The Greens believe that protection is hollow. If instead of giving the land away the university disposed of it for as little as $1 it would avoid the protections in the bill. We have had an ongoing discussion about this with the Government. We may not agree on the final outcome but we have agreed to remove the provisions relating to universities from this bill so that we can have the substantive debate at a later time. We appreciate the Government moving that amendment. We will be supporting the bill.