Braddon Club reevelopment a 'windfall to taxpayers'
The Braddon Club. Photo: Melissa Adams
The Canberra Raiders' proposed redevelopment of the Braddon Club will bring a windfall worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACT taxpayers, according to the club.
The rugby league club's parent company, the Canberra District Rugby League Football Club Limited, wants to knock down the club and build a mixed-use development - apartments, office, shops and restaurants - at the landmark site.
The development hinges on an application by the Raiders to ''de-concessionalise'' its lease on the block, giving it full control of the land and allowing the knock-down and rebuilding to go ahead, subject to development approval.
CDRL group chief executive Simon Hawkins said he rejected any suggestion that the ''pay-out'' amount calculated by the club's adviser to be paid to the ACT government was a cut-price offer.
Mr Hawkins said the club had bought a non-concessional lease - originally granted in 1998 - for the site in 2005 from the ACT Rugby League and the Raiders' interest had only been concessionalised by legislative changes to land ownership laws in 2007.
Mr Hawkins said the club's consultants had calculated the pay-out amount as per the prescribed formulas from the ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) based on 51 per cent of the Raiders' valuation of the land of $620,000 for its present use as a licensed club and car park.
''So the $320,000 is not an offer to the ACT government, it's the result of the calculation prescribed by ACTPLA, which uses the value of the lease at the time, payments made, and the current value of the site,'' Mr Hawkins said. ''Given the original 1998 lease was not concessional, this $320,000 is actually a windfall for the ACT government.''
If the de-concessionalisation is approved, the final pay-out will be determined by ACTPLA after an independent valuation is carried out.
Mr Hawkins said the club could be confident that the proposed development on the site was in keeping with the territory plan, although final approval again rests with the development authority.
''CDRL does not need to argue that the proposal is in keeping with government objectives for greater commercial development and higher housing densities in the city centre, as the Territory Plan already allows for this proposed development on this site,'' Mr Hawkins said. ''The consultant's report just stated this was the case.''
He said his organisation's plans to move the Braddon Club's 46 poker machines to other clubs in the Raiders Group were permitted, subject to official approval, by amendments to the Gaming Act.
''Recent changes to the Gaming Act allow, as from January 1, 2013, grouped clubs in the ACT to transfer gaming machines between their sites,'' he said.