Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 2942 ..
MS HORODNY: I ask a supplementary question. Minister, can you explain how the ACT public can believe that the Government will objectively assess the environmental and social impacts of any applications for lease variations to permit paintball operations on ACT land - for example, the lease variation that has already been applied for in forests on block 601, Majura, next to the motor sports area on Pialligo Avenue - when the Government has already shown itself to be very gung-ho about encouraging this activity?
MR HUMPHRIES: I cannot believe that someone would have sat in this place now for a year and a half and not have read the Land Act when it comes to these sorts of things. It is not a question of whether it is nice to have people running around Black Mountain shooting at each other next to the motorway. There are provisions for lease variations to be dealt with through a proper process, Ms Horodny. I suggest that before you ask me silly questions here you go and look at the provisions already existing which bind me and any other person who might be a Minister in a government as to what they have to do to deal with those sorts of applications to vary leases.
Secondly, in this question we are talking about Forests, which do not have leases over the forests that they operate. They directly operate crown land. The issue of leases does not arise, so the question really is one about what standards the Government imposes on these matters. I have already stated very clearly to this place what the Government's views about those things are. There are very few dangers to native flora or fauna, to the water catchments or to anything else, except perhaps people's pride, by virtue of the operation of paintball in ACT pine forests. With great respect, I would need you to present some sort of argument that there is some danger we have to be alert to. If you can find some danger, we will be alert to it, but so far I have not seen it.
I think it is time to let go of this. We have made a decision about paintball. A lot of people have expressed an interest in applying for the right to operate paintball. It is, I think, something which people take up fairly enthusiastically. It is very hard, even with the best environmental will in the world, to make out a problem from paintball in a pine forest. I cannot see what the problem is. Ms Horodny should accept that that is the way most people want the thing to go and not try to beat up a story out of something which does not exist.
MS REILLY: My question is to Mr De Domenico as Minister for government business enterprises. Can you confirm that the Totalcare bus fleet currently realises a profit from operation of its transport business?
MR DE DOMENICO: I can confirm that it does not realise a profit.