Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 17 February 2005 2005) . . Page.. 586 ..
Negotiations on a range of fronts are proceeding. My hope and my expectation—hope always springs eternal—are that yes, we will construct a dragway in the Majura Valley within the next 18 months.
MR STEFANIAK: I notice that you said you hope. My supplementary question is: why, then, Chief Minister, did you make a promise that you couldn’t keep to supporters of the dragway? In doing so, did you mislead the people of Canberra on this issue?
MR STANHOPE: Mr Stefaniak, I just answered your question. I said that it was the government’s intention to build a dragway. It is our expectation that it will be built in the Majura Valley. It is my hope and expectation that it will be built within the next 18 months.
As I say, I can’t stand here now and say, definitively and absolutely, “Yes, it will be delivered in the Majura Valley in that timeframe.” That’s what we’re working towards. We are working constructively; we are working with motor sports interests. As I say, the matter has been given the highest priority within the Chief Minister’s Department. I have established a group which we have called the major projects group. The chief executive of the major projects group within the Chief Minister’s Department is Mr George Tomlins. The deputy chief executive of that group is Mr Philip Mitchell, the ex-ACT Government Solicitor. Mr Mitchell, I know, has been holding consultations and negotiations with landholders within the Majura Valley. A whole range of new tests in relation to noise and noise-related issues are being undertaken.
There is a dragway meeting either this Saturday or on Saturday week at Eastern Creek at which a range of officials from Environment ACT and, I believe, two or three members of the major projects group are attending, along with Mr Develin.
Tests are being undertaken. There are serious issues in relation to noise. Mr Quinlan went to these yesterday. Of course, we are going to look at those; we are going to assess the impacts; we are going to look at the site; we are going to do a range of ordinary sorts of studies, investigations and consultations that all governments do in relation to any major project such as this.
It is our firm intention to proceed, and we are proceeding, with the decision to construct the dragway. As I say, at this stage, subject of course to calamitous outcomes from some of the consultations or some of the further scientific investigation that will be undertaken, there will be a dragway in the Majura Valley.
Of course it does have to be said—and it will be to the Liberal Party’s eternal embarrassment, and certainly that of some of your supporters and, indeed, very many dragway supporters—I haven’t seen that bus with the dirty big great sign “A vote for the Liberals is a vote for the dragway” driving around since the day of the election. Do you know where the bus is, Mr Stefaniak? What has happened to “A vote for the Liberals is a vote for the dragway” bus?
I must say, I have seen an awful lot of those little stickers on the back of windows “A vote for the Liberals is a vote for the dragway”. I know from past experience—