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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 1289..


MR BARR (continuing):

government of the day to come in with millions—and it would be millions; somewhere between $6 million and $10 million of taxpayers' money—to bail out a private operator. If those opposite are seriously suggesting that that is the precedent that we should set—that whenever a private business fails the government should come in and intervene—that is an appalling situation.

The recommendation from the committee was not able to be implemented. I would also remind members, of course, that some of the conditions associated with the recommendations of the committee were on the basis that the owner of the facility would go ahead with some major office redevelopments which have not occurred. No development application has been submitted. So there would be nothing for the government, had it been able to accept the recommendations of the committee, to hold the developer accountable to. The only avenue for the government to pursue this matter legally is if the pool closes. Then the owner would be in breach of the territory plan and in breach of his lease, and the government would pursue that matter vigorously.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?

MR DOSZPOT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, thank you very much for that correction regarding your involvement in this. I am aware that you would have treated this quite differently had you been minister back in those days.

Ms Porter: Are we having a speech or a question?

MR DOSZPOT: I am simply responding to what the minister was correcting.

MR SPEAKER: I am sorry, Mr Doszpot; you have to come straight to the question.

MR DOSZPOT: My apologies, Mr Speaker; I thought I was allowed the same latitude that the minister had.

MR SPEAKER: It seems not, under the standing orders.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why has your government allowed this significant community facility to fall into such disrepair, resulting in its imminent closure, when you had the option of putting in place a proactive plan which was recommended by a bipartisan committee, with two of your members—government members—well and truly involved in all those discussions?

MR BARR: Firstly, I need to correct the premise of Mr Doszpot's question. This is a private facility. The person who has let it fall into disrepair is the owner—the owner. Mr Turco is responsible for the condition of his swimming pool, not the government. Mr Turco is responsible for his swimming pool, not the government. The innocent parties in this issue are Deakin Swimming Ltd, who have contributed a huge amount of volunteer time and money to try and keep the pool in working order.

Fundamentally, this is a private facility. The government is not responsible, nor can it be responsible, for the condition of privately owned facilities. Is the opposition


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