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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 477 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I recall the last one I had with the Rugby Union in Sydney. It was in North Sydney. We did not discuss dates. We indicated what was proposed for the actual stadium and no dates were actually mentioned. I was delighted some months ago to hear that, in fact, we were going to get a test match and then to hear when it is proposed, which, to my recollection, is 22 September 1998. If there are any further negotiations that anyone else in the Government has had since my discussions with the Rugby Union, I am unaware of the detail of those. Certainly, in my discussions with them, no timeframes were actually mentioned, although what we were proposing for Bruce in terms of how many people could be seated there was information that was available to them. We did talk about plans for the stadium.

MR OSBORNE: I have a supplementary question. My understanding, Minister, is that the Australian Rugby Union were given some guarantees in relation to the development there. Thankfully, they are taking full financial responsibility for these matches, because my understanding is that they are very disappointed that it appears that the corporate facilities especially will not be completed in time. I was wondering whether you could find out, Minister, whether any guarantees were given by any members of your department. If they were, are you a little embarrassed? Do you think it may affect our chances of holding test matches in the future, given that it appears that the ARU has been deceived?

MR STEFANIAK: I hardly think it is a case of anyone being deceived, Mr Osborne. I think the ARU have recognised, finally, the importance of Canberra as a venue for test matches. I think it is a great step in the right direction. After this test match, I would hope that we could look forward to test matches on a reasonably regular basis. They certainly did not commit themselves to anything when I last spoke to them, but they were indicating that they were looking at something like two out of every three years we would have a test match.

Mr Osborne: Were there any guarantees?

MR STEFANIAK: In terms of guarantees, Mr Osborne, I will have to check on that with my department. Indeed, in terms of deadlines and timeframes for Bruce Stadium, I will check with the Chief Minister, too.

Ms Carnell: It is on schedule.

MR STEFANIAK: She says to me that, in fact, it is on schedule. I would certainly hope, if that is the case, that it will be in a good state for 22 September.

Bruce Stadium

MR QUINLAN: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, are you in a position to inform this Assembly of any proposed changes to the operation and the administration of the Bruce outdoor and indoor stadiums?

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