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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3037..


MR QUINLAN: It is mainly unwillingness to put out half-baked information-that is, our half-baked review of the numbers. It really turns on the way this issue has been handled by your lot.

Mr Smyth: You have employed the same consultant.

MR QUINLAN: No. The way you have attempted to run this issue in the public forum would cause anybody to say, "Before we put out some information, we will get to a point where we say that this is precisely what we are doing, otherwise we will have a further flow of misinformation." What I am trying to do is avoid misinformation. It is quite obvious, on this side of the house, that the opposition of today is finding it very difficult to find constructive issues, so we have had a stream of both misinformation and negative gainsaying.

In the interests of informed public debate, we will make sure the case is complete before your lot go off and confuse the issue, beyond the point where it should be. I know you will still do it.

If the insurance issue or the picture of Mr Humphries behind a construction fence at Symonston, are indications of where you are prepared to go, then we really need to ensure that we have the true picture available for all to absorb before we set in train your process of misinforming the public.

Dragway

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the minister for sport. On 13 June this year, in a media release entitled "Dragway Funding Declined", you stated:

The EIR indicates that a new dragway facility would cost $6.2 million to construct and $500,000 annually to operate ... there were quite strongly differing assessments of the economic benefits of the dragway ... the assessment of the Treasury was that the benefits were substantially overstated.

Minister, can you explain how Treasury determined that the study overstates the benefits from the dragway?

MR QUINLAN: Treasury gave the task to a former University of Canberra academic, Dr Hughes. He proceeded to go through the model that was presented, to identify a series of perceived weaknesses in that model-for example, no discounting of future benefits. So there is no discounting of cash flows involved, and there is no consideration of replacement expenditure within the economy. This means that every cent that is not being spent on a dragway today is, by inference, in the previous model, being stacked under someone's bed somewhere.

A number of assumptions within the model were challenged. The author of the report for the dragway people and Treasury have met over this model. Be it known that a financial model like that is really the quantification of a stream of assumptions. for example, I think the model prepared for the V8 supercar race has been revised, of recent times, by


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