Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (29 February) . . Page.. 460..
MR MOORE (continuing):
We have to keep in mind, Mr Speaker, that this is a statement which I consider as a first step. We have to look at the big picture in the way that Mr Kaine has painted it and try to ensure that we use our Estimates Committee and our processes to ensure that there is more equity in the distribution of the money that is in government hands, and to ensure that we do not have one area of our administration that is a poor cousin.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned.
Debate resumed from 13 December 1995, on motion by Mr De Domenico:
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
MR WOOD (11.10): Mr Speaker, I am sure that all members share my view that we must take a very close interest in the future of Canberra Airport. The Economic Development and Tourism Committee is interested. Members of that committee have attended conferences concerning airports generally to keep ourselves informed on the future of airports generally and Canberra Airport in particular. There are proposals for the Commonwealth to lease or to sell Canberra Airport. I am pleased that the Government has set aside a fairly large amount of money, close to $100,000, for a study and has set up a body to look at various aspects of this airport which is so critical to the ACT and to the region. I believe it is important that the ACT Government have some stake in the ownership of that airport should it become available. I think it is important that the views of the ACT community are directed in this way to any of the outcomes that may arise.
There are a number of important principles to consider. The future role of the ACT Government in this matter is very important. We would all assert here that the interest of the ACT is paramount in any change. It could be, if the airport in the future came under the control purely of some private enterprise group, not necessarily based at Canberra, that the interests of that group would be paramount over the interests of the ACT. It could be that one group would buy, for example, a number of airports and they would have an interest in running those airports, perhaps like banks. Some banks have branches all over Australia, but they do not mind closing them down here and there, or rationalising their use. This is pretty much a common feature around the country. We would want to see the interest of the ACT remain the dominant interest, and I think we can do that only through our share of the ownership, perhaps joining with private enterprise. I hope also that groups in the ACT community, perhaps existing groups at the airport, would play a very prominent role in any future ownership.
There is another important principle requiring that we should have some interest in this, and that is the environmental principle. Again, it may be only through direct ACT interest that all the difficult environmental circumstances that can arise around airports are properly understood and properly monitored and controlled so that the interests of people, particularly those in the northern parts of Canberra, are protected. You do not