Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 1314 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (7.03): Mr Speaker, in the Assembly in June I made a comment about an article which appeared in the Canberra Times about a cock-and-bull story. Given the policy of the Government, already reaffirmed today, to correct the record where one misleads, I want to indicate that when I - - -
Mr Stanhope: How many times have we had two in a day?
MR HUMPHRIES: It is really not that hard if you want to do it, Mr Stanhope. It can be done. It is not that hard if you are prepared to shoulder the responsibility that falls on you. I did indicate in earlier discussions that I had not used that phrase. It has been drawn to my attention that in fact I did use that phrase, not in a press release or a comment outside the Assembly but in remarks made within the Assembly. I clearly did misrepresent the situation with respect to the reporter from the Canberra Times, Frank Cassidy, and I want to put on record that I was in error. I do apologise to Mr Cassidy for that mistake. I take the first opportunity to correct the record.
MR BERRY (7.05): I want to put a plug in for orienteering and raise the same matter as the leader of the Labor Party, Mr Stanhope, raised earlier in this adjournment debate, the charge which has been imposed by ACT Forests. Orienteering is a sport suitable for all ages and is practised by a fairly large number of ACT residents from very young people up to people like me who are getting on, and even people a bit older. Cunning running, as they call it, is quite technical and involves a lot of preparation and organisation. Thousands of dollars are spent on preparing maps for events and preparing courses for events so that orienteering can be as successful as it is. The various clubs that involve themselves in this sport or recreation go to a lot of trouble to prepare courses and print maps so that runners can participate.
The difficulty they now have is that a fee of $1 a head is imposed on them when they run in the ACT forests. They have some difficulty moving away from the ACT forests, because they just cannot abandon the capital that they have put into the development of courses and maps and those sorts of things in the areas where they practise this sport. It is a sad day for running in the ACT that this fee has been imposed. The ACT has a reputation for its forests as venues for runners. A lot of them are going to be very angry about the user-pay principle being lobbed on them as it has been. The difficulty for them is that they do not have to pay. It is going to be an honour system, it seems to me, in many ways and people could play with the numbers if they wanted to, but most people involved in these sports are honest people and they will pay. At the end of the day I think sport will be affected by it.