Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1647..
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Corbell! Mr Pratt, direct your comments through the chair.
MR PRATT: Mr Corbell is behaving as if this all a bloody great joke. I will tell you how funny this is, Mr Corbell. The Tharwa community are indicating that a number of businesses have closed in Tharwa because of the closing-down of this major access way across the Murrumbidgee. Mr Jeffery in his email talks about now the need for a suicide watch on farmers and businesspeople around the Tharwa community as a consequence of the pain that they are receiving.
They have lost their primary school. They are going to lose their smaller school. They have lost three or four businesses in the town centre proper. People are finding it much more difficult to drive in and out of Tharwa to their schools. People with asthmatic kids sometimes now face the extra 30 minute drive around a long and dangerous route at night time. Kids in that community have those sorts of issues to deal with because of your government's incompetence and your failure to be creative, to look for a low-level bridge as an urgent crossing pending the finishing of the main project.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.55): Mr Speaker, it is a shame that the Chief Minister has bolted from the field, as he usually does. He delivers his stunning blows and he contradicts things that people say and then he just wanders away. It is interesting that he was not at the meeting where it was announced there would be no water for ovals and that carting water was impossible. Let me read from the document handed out to the sporting groups there by the minister. One of the frequently asked questions is, "Will the government be tanking in water to sustain its sportsgrounds?"Answer: "At this stage the cost of tanking in the necessary water to all ACT sportsgrounds appears likely to be prohibitive and logistically impossible."
It is impossible, Chief Minister, according to your own document, but do not believe me and do not believe your document, Chief Minister. Let us go to the web. A Google search this evening provides the following information: "No water for Canberra sporting fields". I am stunned, Mr Speaker, given that the Chief Minister has said that we can do things. Here is an ABC online story:
More than 100 representatives from sporting clubs around Canberra have been told they need to state their case if they wish to continue irrigating grounds once Stage 4 water restrictions come into effect. ... Today it told a meeting of venue managers that up to 80% of sporting fields could have their water supply cut.
Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister can say what he wants but he should get his facts straight, as should Mr Barr. Yesterday he lauded in this place the mammoth increase in visitors to the ACT and yet again he got it wrong. I went to the ACT tourist statistics on the www.tourism.act.gov website. What does it reveal? It reveals that in the March quarter, unlike what Mr Corbell has said, there has been a reduction, on his own figures on his own website, in visitors. And in the year to March—