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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 200..

MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

way system processes were put in place to provide us with the answers to those questions.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question to the minister. Why have you been assuring Canberrans through the media and this Assembly that no child was at risk from your negligence when the lack of adequate records means that you are unable to give such an assurance?

MS GALLAGHER: I think I answered this yesterday, but I will repeat it. The comments made by Gwenn Murray and the Office of the Community Advocate related to concerns they had about appraisals done on children and young people over a number of years. They did not hold those same reservations about the immediate safety of those children. I sought the assurance of the Community Advocate on that matter specifically prior to making any comment about that in the media. On Friday I was assured that, in her opinion, those children of concern in this investigation in the territory were not at immediate risk.


MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Environment and concerns the Summernats festival in January this year. The minister would be aware that a considerable number of complaints were lodged with Environment ACT in regard to the environmental impact of the event. Will the minister advise the Assembly what monitoring and action was taken by Environment ACT and the health protection unit in response to repeated complaints of noise and air pollution from 8 to 11 January? Were the terms of the authorisation for the event that was held by the National Exhibition Centre Trust enforced? Why was the National Exhibition Centre Trust rather than Street Machine Services Pty Ltd seen to be conducting the event for the purposes of the act?

MR STANHOPE: I regret I do not have the details of those issues that Ms Tucker has raised. I am aware, and it is a feature of every Summernats, that it does inconvenience some residents, particularly those residents who live in Downer and Watson. I did receive a number of representations and complaints about the issues Ms Tucker raised, particularly noise more than air quality or other issues. I know departmental officers and authorities monitor very closely activities at EPIC around the time of the Summernats. I have no reason to believe that issues in relation to noise and the extent of noise were not assiduously pursued by Environment ACT to ensure that they complied with relevant legislation.

I am happy to get the detail of the specific questions Ms Tucker asked. I acknowledge that an event such as Summernats, which is particularly attractive to a large number of Canberrans, creates a degree of noise and atmosphere that some residents of Canberra object to and do not support. It is one of those events, whilst it pleases a significant number of Canberrans, does return great economic benefit for the territory. It does inconvenience some residents over the three or four days and there is something of a balancing act in relation to that, as there is in relation to a number of other events and activities that occur in a large city or urban area such as the ACT. I am happy to get answers to the range of questions Ms Tucker asked. I do not have the specificity but I am more than pleased to get it.

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