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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1376 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

As a support to the Olympic competition venue, Bruce Stadium, the ACT must provide four or five training venues of a standard acceptable to SOCOG and FIFA from 2 September 2000. At this stage no decision has been made on these venues, but a comprehensive assessment of the possible alternatives is now under way. This involves a thorough analysis of factors such as the playing surface, lighting, security and player amenities. From 1 July 2000, if the playing surfaces are not of a satisfactory standard, SOCOG may require the grounds to be closed to allow the surface to recover. Venues under consideration include some managed by the ACT Government through the Bureau of Sport and Recreation, as well as a number outside the ACT government system.

The decision on venues is to be made as soon as possible to allow the necessary planning for any venue enhancement or reallocation of users. Preliminary advice has been given to local peak football organisations that some disruption may result from this exercise, but that as far as possible the effects are to be focused on soccer as this is the sport which will be most advantaged by the Olympic program.

Service Station Site in Torrens

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, on 22 April Mr Osborne asked a question about the Torrens service station site. The question was in four parts. He asked: Was the fencing on the site approved by Planning and Land Management? Did PALM approve the removal of the underground tanks? Has Ampol lodged a development application or sought a lease variation for the site? Given that the site has not been used for just under 21/2 years, do you intend to enforce your Government's policy on the use of service station sites and resume the lease so that another service station may begin to operate at that location?

Mr Speaker, the answer is as follows: Yes, the fencing was approved in 1996 at the time approval to remove the tanks was refused. The fencing was approved to minimise the risk of anyone being hurt on the unattended site. The underground tanks are still in situ. For safety reasons they have been filled with water containing a rust inhibitor, as well as the vents and pipes leading from the tanks being capped.

Yes, Ampol has been negotiating with PALM about alternative uses for the site since early 1996. Ampol has lodged several development applications over this time with proposals that could not be supported. Ampol, on 9 April 1999, lodged an application to vary the lease purpose clause to allow the construction of eight townhouses and associated parking. The proposal, if approved, will also require the demolition of the existing buildings, the removal of the underground tanks and the remediation, if necessary, of the site.

Mr Speaker, I am advised that the last franchisee that occupied the site got into financial difficulties with regard to the operation of the site. Ampol has advised PALM that the volume of product passing through the site was insufficient for ongoing viability. Given that the site closed prior to the introduction of the Government's new service station policy and that an approvable application has been lodged, I do not propose to initiate lease termination action at this time.

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