Hansard. . . Page.. 134 ..
There are a lot of supporters of motor sport in the community who would be looking for an outcome, and some would be feeling frustrated about the inability of various administrations to resolve their position. Many would not care about the noise impact on New South Wales residents because they live in my electorate or your electorate, Mr Speaker, and would not be affected by this in any way. But I am sure that, if your constituents in, say, Deakin had to face up to a motor racing track every Saturday, there would be an urgent need to deal with the matter. We still have to have some sympathy for those residents of New South Wales who would be affected by this.
I think the purpose of Mr Moore's motion has been secured, that is, attention has been drawn to the problem. I trust that the Government will move in a way that means that there is change. I am a little disturbed at the increase in exemptions. I do not think that is part of a good formula for change; I think it will result in no change. Most of the people I have been in contact with in the motor racing business would prefer to be able to race in that area, but I do not think that is the solution. While ever we continue to expand the exemptions, we put back the time when we will be able to secure a new facility where people can be involved in this recreation that so many passionately enjoy.
From Labor's point of view, I think the point has been made. We would urge the Government to move down the path of change. Who knows? In due course, it may well mean that some motor racing in the ACT cannot proceed. It may boil down to who is going to pay, and judgments will have to be made about the expenditure of the taxpayers' revenue on the provision of these sites. But more work is certainly necessary. It is not an easy one, I am sure; but at the end of the day the most important thing to be protected is our environment. If we do not protect that, we do not protect our community. We cannot be isolationists and think that it is just the ACT; we have to be concerned about people in New South Wales, or any other part of Australia, for that matter.
MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (12.27): I thank Mr Moore for bringing this motion on. It has raised what was a big problem for the previous Government - a problem largely brought on itself, I think, because in 1992 it changed what was a workable situation by introducing a series of exemptions to the Noise Control Act. That was a totally unsatisfactory way for everyone to go. The motor sport people do not like the exemption system and it is unsatisfactory to a number of other participants in this debate as well. Quite clearly, if we had some common measure which was satisfactory to all, that would be ideal.
Last year we put up a Bill to bring us into line with New South Wales and that included a trackside measurement used in New South Wales. I appreciate that there is a significant regime in New South Wales in relation to the Act, but all tracks there are licensed at a 95 decibels at 30 metres standard. I will not go through that ad infinitum, because I spoke on it at length in the debate last year, as did Mr Westende and other speakers, and it is in the Hansard. However, it is currently the trackside system used in New South Wales. I heard what Mr Moore said in relation to the turn left at traffic lights and the need for commonality with New South Wales, and that is a very strong argument. It is something we tried to sort out last year, but at that stage the then Labor Government was not very helpful.