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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 1066 ..

I am conscious that we are coming towards 6.30 and I will conclude. But we should be able to expect from our ministers that they do the basics of their job, the very basics; the very least we should expect is that they meet with the key stakeholders in their portfolio. The fact that this minister is refusing to do so shows arrogance and it shows a disregard for the job at hand. It shows a disregard for the key stakeholders in this industry.

I commend Mr Smyth for bringing forward this motion. I commend him for working with the industry, for doing the work, for listening to them and for raising their concerns. If only the same could be said about the mob on the other side.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.27): I am conscious of the time. Just to close, I will read two paragraphs from an email that can summarise it better than I. It is an email that went to the minister and was cc’d to me. It is about a person who has a commitment to the local industry:

Last year, two of my construction industry partners and me made a decision to invest in the Canberra Racing Industry, via the construction of a new 2,000sqm state of the art stabling facility for one of Canberra’s leading Thoroughbred Racing trainers … Having seen the transformation of the … Racetrack, through the new multi million dollar redevelopment, we could see that the Canberra Racetrack and ACT Racing Club were amongst one of the best regional tracks in Australia, with its two racing surfaces and modern training facilities; we wanted to be part of this important growing industry.

Our investment alone in the new stabling facility will be close to $1,000,000.

We are also racehorse owners and between the three of us own shares in 12 …

So this email comes … from a number of directions: as an owner, as someone who has decided to directly invest … as a punter, as a sponsor, as a breeder …

It seems ludicrous that at the meeting I attended last night we are in a situation where the current government looks like not passing onto the ACT Racing Club the revenue generated by the new Race Fields legislation, estimated to be $1,500,000.

The Racing Industry in the ACT is self supporting; why would the government not choose to support an important revenue generating, job generating, and tourism generating industry?

I will just pick one other paragraph that I think says it all:

The ACT Racing Club has a terrific product; I hope that the decisions made by this government are not short sighted and allow the ACT Racing Industry to prosper into the future and provide not only benefits to the ACT Community as a whole through Tourism and jobs, but also to the ACT Government long term.

I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Question put:

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