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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1202 ..

MRS CARNELL: What we have, Mr Speaker, is the best progress that we have had. In fact, we were never able to get the previous Prime Minister to say that this is a good idea. In fact, at this stage, Mr Speaker, we have not got Bob Carr to say that it is a good idea either. If those opposite are so keen on this project - certainly we are - why do they not get Bob Carr to say publicly that he supports a high-speed rail link between Canberra and Sydney? We certainly do. The Prime Minister certainly says that he does. So let us get this project running. To do that we need - - -

Mr Wood: Empty words will not do it.

MRS CARNELL: Those "empty words" are about the Prime Minister saying that he supports it, that he will appoint an additional high-profile person to actually lead the feasibility study and that he will be holding discussions with both me and Bob Carr to show support. That is more than we have seen before. It is a mile more than we have seen before. If those opposite believe that this is not enough, get Bob Carr to say that he personally supports a high-speed rail link between Canberra and Sydney and that he will be doing everything in his power to get this thing up.

Kingston Foreshore

MS McRAE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Mr Speaker, in answer to a question on 3 May 1995 the Chief Minister said that the full cost of the clean-up of the Kingston site would be carried by the private sector. She said:

It seems that Ms McRae does not understand what a joint venture is. A joint venture partnership is exactly that. The ACT Government will bring the land to the joint venture partnership. The private sector will do the building, will do the levelling of buildings that we do not need, and will do the decontamination of sites. Certainly, that comes with a cost; but whoever does it, under whatever circumstances, that is a cost to this development but not a cost to the ACT Government ... the cost of decontaminating ... is not a budget item.

In a press release last week, on 7 May, the Chief Minister said:

... it has been clear from the start that any cleanup would be a matter for further negotiation with the Commonwealth.

My question, Mr Speaker, is this: When did the Commonwealth indicate its commitment to cleaning up Kingston and what was the offer made?

MRS CARNELL: I said in the press release exactly what I will say now. That has always been on the agenda as an issue for negotiation, obviously as it was in letters that changed hands last year. But the issue is again - and I make the point "again" for about the umpteenth time - that you do not know what contamination clean-up might cost until you know what you are going to put on the site. If you put a playground on the site, it is going to cost a lot if there is contamination.

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