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Mr Speaker, apart from motor noise, Mr Moore's motion raises some important issues, because we do not live in a silent world and noise pollution of various types is of concern to people. As I indicated, I think the motor sport people in Canberra, the ordinary men and women of the ACT who love their sport - indeed, estimates of people who follow, attend and participate in motor sport here range up to about 15,000 - have a right to go about their sport. It is a legitimate sport, and they have every right to expect an ACT government to support them in that right.
However, there are other people in the ACT who partake in other legitimate activities which cause some noise. Exemptions for motor sport are not the only ones given. Mr Speaker, you and I were recently at a wonderful event at the Tuggeranong BMX track. Mr Osborne was there too. A lot of kids seven years old and up from around Australia were involved. It was a great event. They all took an oath of sportspersonship, as I suppose we should call it these days. Boys and girls, and some adults as well, were participating in what was an excellent weekend over Easter. Some anonymous person had passed around through the Kambah suburb a note complaining about likely noise from the event, saying, “Ring up the EPA and ring up Mr Humphries about it”. I thought that was perhaps a little bit over the top, because BMX bikes are not motorised, and the only real noise at that event was from the PA system. I do not think the person who wrote that note was being terribly reasonable.
One needs to realise that a lot of these events - motor sport is certainly one of them, but so too are BMX events and a lot of other events, and even the odd rock concert - bring a lot of people and a lot of tourist dollars into the Territory. We are the centre of the south-east region. That is something to consider.
Mr Moore: We do not want the noise from BMX events?
MR STEFANIAK: As I indicated and as Mr Osborne and Mr Cornwell will testify to, I think the only noise was from the PA system. It is a bit hard to get too much noise from BMX bikes. We need the tourist dollars and we need to have a balance.
One can also look at the occasional rock concert. Recently there was a concert at EPIC that my colleague gave an exemption for. I understand that it finished at 10.30 pm. There were over 100 complaints in relation to excessive noise from that concert. It was at night, but it finished at a reasonable time. Again, it is a question of balance. I think it would be quite wrong for this Territory to seek to ban any event that caused excessive noise. There has to be balance. Conversely, you certainly would not want a concert every second night. Such events happen on a fairly rare basis, and I think it is important for the Territory that they continue. People have to be able to enjoy themselves in a legitimate, lawful way. That is only commonsense.