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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2569 ..

Mr Berry: This is garbage, Mr Speaker. This is an abuse of the standing orders. If you cannot restate - - -

MR SPEAKER: It is an abuse of - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, would you let me finish? If you cannot stand up in this place and say that certain things happened in this place without being accused of breaching the standing orders, it is a pretty poor state of events. For example, Mr Speaker, if we said that you were elected as Speaker, we are reflecting on a vote of this Assembly and therefore we cannot comment on the matter. That is just ridiculous.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, your interjection was out of order anyway but, secondly, Mr Quinlan was handling the matter quite well. I was happy to let him continue in the way he was going.

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I presume that I have communicated to the house that we cannot accept the figures, good or ill, that purport to be the business case behind the V8 race. That is a point that I think needs to be made at this stage of the debate. Members will remember the very rubbery figures and appallingly ridiculous exaggerations that were part of the Bruce Stadium business case, a business case that had as one of its authors an organisation that later became project manager for the overall project.

Mr Humphries: Is this relevant?

MR QUINLAN: It is a bit of history. If we do not learn from history, Mr Humphries, we do not learn at all. We will also remember that following that particular case this house was repeatedly reassured that we were going to spend only $12.9m or $12.7m; that that was all we were committed for. Of course, that turned out to be nothing like the facts. The Opposition has to make the point firmly that this appropriation Bill and the case being put forward for the race are based on an assumption that we will accept them on blind faith. The amount of money that has been ascribed to moving the hospice is similarly just a bald estimate, as we understand it. I think that has been stated, and we do not argue with it.

I wish to reaffirm that we are concerned that the case is not a detailed case. I raised in this place - I cannot mention when - some concerns about particular numbers in that case, such as it was. If this Assembly votes for this appropriation Bill, it will be doing so on faith. I wish to clearly state that we do not consider that the case has been properly made. We do not necessarily doubt that the V8 race will bring business and people to the ACT. We certainly hope and trust that if it is won for the ACT and it is run here it will be nothing but a huge success. But at this stage I want to register that we have been asked to vote for it on blind faith.

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