Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2327..
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.33 to 2.30 pm.
MR STANHOPE: For the information of members, the Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Industrial Relations is absent from the Assembly this afternoon on ministerial business. If there are questions for Mr Barr, I will be pleased to receive them.
Questions without notice
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Probably Mr Barr now has responsibility for this, so it is appropriate. On Saturday 12 August the Canberra Times reported the Chief Executive of the Department of Territories and Municipal Services, Mike Zissler, as saying he understood why people would not want to live next to a dragway. He said, according to the paper:
I wouldn't and I wouldn't choose to move to one. I do sympathise with people who may live next to the one proposed for construction. I sympathise enormously.
The article then continued about an environmental impact study being conducted by his department, saying that it was important to understand what the real impact of a dragway would be, and Mr Zissler saying, "Once we know that, we can take recommendations to Government."How do these comments in relation to not wanting to live next to a dragway, made by the head of the department now responsible for the dragway, reconcile with the government's stated commitment to build the dragway?
MR STANHOPE: I am aware of the comments the head of the department made in relation to his personal view about living adjacent to a dragway. As members are aware, the government has engaged in a process that seeks to determine whether or not a dragway might be provided within Majura Valley for those dragway enthusiasts resident in the territory and, indeed, within the region. As members are aware, as a result of the size and configuration of the Australian Capital Territory, attempts by the government to identify a range of possible sites for a dragway that was suitable, in the context particularly of geography, location and configuration, have been severely constrained.
The site identified by officials as almost the only remaining site that might potentially be available for construction of a dragway is a site within Majura Valley. Over an extensive period officials of the ACT government investigated numerous sites throughout the territory and in the end to some extent, to my frustration and that of my colleagues within the government, the only site that has been identified that might possibly permit the construction of a dragway is the site that is currently being investigated in Majura Valley. We would have wished that to be otherwise.