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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 8 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 2641..


MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am not an expert on turf and nor is anybody else in this place. The option that was decided on was taken on expert advice-the advice given by both the people who normally do the turf at Bruce Stadium and also an independent expert that was employed for this particular purpose. What that letter says is that all options that were available came with some risk. Therefore, SOCOG agreed to go down the proposed option that was put on the table by our Olympics Unit.

SOCOG did not say in their letter or in any other letter that there was a safer option available. The fact is that the turf that may now be sourced from Melbourne was not available at that time. What they said is there was a risk-

Mr Quinlan: A specific risk.

MS CARNELL: No. They said there was a risk. Mr Speaker, let me read it again. They go on to say:

In short, it seems that whatever strategy is pursued, some risk is involved.

So whichever way they went at that stage, there was risk involved. Therefore, they say:

Given these circumstances, we will support the decision to fully replace the turf ...

Mr Speaker, this was a decision that obviously took into account expert opinion. It was regarded as the best option at the time. It has not worked. There is no doubt about that. The grass has not regenerated as quickly as the experts said it would. I am sorry that did not happen. But I would have to say the sensible approach from here is not to bellyache like those opposite but to get behind the whole approach of fixing the problem, and that is what the government is doing.

Information and Advanced Technology

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I know you are always in control of the house. My question is to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. I refer to the government's decision to focus on developing Canberra as a centre for information and advanced technology. Chief Minister, how successful has this strategy been? Can you also confirm that the ACT has one of the fastest growing computer service industries within Australia?

MS CARNELL: I thank Mr Hird for the question. However, I would have to say that he is wrong because we do not have one of the fastest growing IT industries in the country-we actually have the fastest growing IT industry in the country.

Mr Stanhope: And the slowest growing grass.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Stanhope, you are the Leader of the Opposition. I expect you to act in a responsible manner appropriate to your position. If you continue to interject, I will warn you and then eventually, if you continue, I will name you. Thank you.

MS CARNELL: Members will, I am sure-probably with the exception of those opposite-be very interested to hear about a remarkable report released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which looked at the size and the growth of the computing


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