Labor Government should suspend golf club development amid integrity concerns

Development activity at the Federal Golf Club should be suspended and investigated amid concerns of cronyism and a lack of government integrity, Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Nicole Lawder said today.

The Federal Golf Club has attempted to build 125 retirement units on its land in Red Hill since 1998. In that time, the development plans have been met with fierce resistance by the community and both sides of government.

It was only after the golf club defected from Clubs ACT  ­­— a group that the Chief Minister and Gaming Minister have both publicly stated they will not meet with — to the Labor-friendly Canberra Community Clubs group that the Labor Government pushed through the golf club’s controversial development plans.

 “This deal is shrouded in controversy and reeks of cronyism,” Ms Lawder said.

“The decision to proceed with the golf club’s proposal came only weeks after the club joined the Labor-friendly clubs groups.

“The Chief Minister’s community panel to consult with relevant stakeholders was also a sham; it consisted of three invitation-only meetings and was disbanded with many issues remaining unresolved.

“MLA’s were given two days’ notice of the meetings, and only permitted to attend small parts of the discussion, and in some cases locked out altogether.

“Community groups fear the process is a fait accompli, and the consultation was a sham.

“I am calling on the ACT Government to suspend all development until these integrity issues are resolved,” Ms Lawder concluded.