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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 6 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 1647..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I understand, Mr Osborne, the matter is going through the planning processes now. I am certainly hopeful that there will be a resolution of it as soon as possible, because I think it is a very good project. The club is to be commended for its desire to put in, initially, $4m. I think they are talking, in stage 2, of up to about $8m. That would give Canberra another excellent sporting facility. As you are well aware, that club does a hell of a lot for sport in the valley.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Osborne?

Mr Wood: Where do you go from here? That is the question, Mr Osborne?

MR OSBORNE: I am just trying to think, Mr Wood. I do not quite know where to go with my supplementary question, after that answer. I am even confused about what question I asked. Minister, do you know what price you have asked the Vikings to pay for the land? I think that was what I asked you.

MR STEFANIAK: That is your supplementary question? Good stuff, Ossie! Mr Osborne, you have given a number of figures there. As I indicated earlier, the matter is now in the lap of my colleague the Land and Planning Minister. I have just had a very quick chat with him, and he certainly is very happy to indicate - and I would fully support him in this - that the Government will look at the price. Certainly, Mr Osborne, I would reiterate that I am well aware of the project. I think it is an excellent project for sport. I would commend the Tuggeranong Valley Rugby Union and Amateur Sports Club for its initiative here. The Government will look at the issue of the price, Mr Osborne.

Out-of-school-hours Care Centres

MR WOOD: My question is also to Mr Stefaniak. Minister, the Federal Liberal Government's decision to remove operational subsidies from out-of-school-hours care centres from 1 January next year has been condemned by care providers and parents as a first step towards forcing many parents either to use unlicensed backyard operators or to leave their children at home unattended. The fee increases that will be necessary because of the loss of subsidy will put this basic care beyond the reach of many, and the children of the ACT will be the losers. Mr Stefaniak, what does your Government and what do you intend to do to remedy this situation which has been caused directly by the actions of your Federal mates?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Wood, I will probably largely answer most of your question to start with, and then give you a little bit of other relevant information in relation to this. Hopefully, I have some more coming. This Government, in difficult financial times, cannot be expected to fill the breach whenever the Commonwealth does something which slugs us further. We have lost about 10,000 jobs over the last two years. Newcastle, it is interesting to note, is to lose, over a four-year period, 2,500 jobs and the Federal Government is going to give them a bit of financial assistance. Those 2,500 jobs are a lot less than what we are losing, and the Federal Government is going to do a $12m help package for them. That is not forthcoming, I note, as yet to the ACT, although I note the Chief Minister is actively pursuing that with the Prime Minister.

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