Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 1904 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
on another day. The Government is perfectly happy to consider a motion on its failure to fulfil certain obligations once the matter has been litigated, but to debate those things now would potentially put the Government in a difficult position in respect of the litigation to which it is a party.
Amendment (Mr Smyth's ) agreed to.
MR CORBELL (10.39): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I will close the debate. I have had some discussions with Mr Rugendyke on this issue and he has indicated to me that he feels he is unable to support the motion in the form that I moved it, and we just dealt with the amendment. I am disappointed that the Assembly has chosen to take that course of action.
Mr Moore: You are reflecting on a vote of the Assembly.
MR CORBELL: I am disappointed but, Mr Moore, I accept the decision of the Assembly. I continue to believe that the dragway has received a very raw deal on this issue and has not been dealt with fairly or openly.
Mr Moore: Be open and tell us what you have done about it.
MR CORBELL: In fact, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I believe that the Government has been hypocritical about this issue. I demonstrated that earlier in the debate. Mr Moore asked what would I have done about it. Mr Moore, if I had been Minister I would have lived up to my obligations and the obligations of the ACT Government, and I would have made the determinations that the Territory is required to make under the dragway lease. That is what I would have done, and that is what any reasonable and fair government would do. But that is not the sort of government we are dealing with, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, aided and abetted by that Independent, Mr Moore.
I can understand that some members have a concern about treading on the fingers of the Government's solicitors and potentially creating difficulties for the Government's case in court. I am prepared to accept that this evening. I do so reluctantly, but I am prepared to accept that.
What I will say, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, is this: The dragway is a valuable community facility. It allows for a very large number of people, over 40,000 people, from both within and outside the ACT, to race and watch races in a safe and controlled environment. It is a facility which is entitled to a long-term lease, and under its current leasing arrangements it is entitled to the renewal of its lease next to the Canberra international airport site for 10 years. That is what it is legally entitled to and I am confident that the dragway will be successful in its action against the Government.
It is a pity that this Minister has chosen to go down this path because he has, through his inaction, embroiled the ACT Government in a needless dispute that it could have easily avoided had it simply done the decent thing. It is going to cost the Territory many thousands of dollars defending itself in court, and, God forbid, it might cost us many