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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2570 ..

MR KAINE (10.41): I believe I have indicated already that I support this appropriation Bill in principle. I think that the purposes for which the money is proposed to be spent will be worth while. But I have one question, and it rests on the proposition put by Mr Quinlan that we have very little detail about how this money is to be spent. I wonder whether in concluding the debate the Minister could indicate whether or not the amount that is being appropriated here for the car race represents the total costs that the Government expects to incur. There is $4.5m for capital works, to be spent on barriers, road works, safety fencing and the like, and $2.5m for CTEC to manage the thing. That proposition is lacking in detail, and one wonders whether the $4.5 for capital works is the full figure that the Government expects to spend.

I raise the question: Is any additional off-budget expenditure likely to be incurred by organisations such as Totalcare and ACTEW? The appropriation would say nothing about any such expected expenditure. Do the $4.5m for capital works and the $2.5m for CTEC to manage the project represent the Government's expectation of what the total cost is going to be? If there is a document that determines how the $4.5m for capital works was calculated, could the Minister table that document so that we can at least be informed as to how the Government sees this money being spent?

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (10.43): I think it is appropriate that we discuss some of the process around the two issues that are covered by this Appropriation Bill. The point has been made by Mr Quinlan, and to some extent repeated by Mr Kaine, that the Assembly was not provided with as much information in relation to the V8 car race as it would have liked.

Mr Moore: As you would have liked.

MR STANHOPE: All right. I think the record needs to reflect the fact that at least the Labor Party in this place - and it appears, from what Mr Kaine said, Mr Kaine as well - would have appreciated some additional information on the bases on which the Government chose to support this event.

As has been said, it is our very strong hope that the V8 car race, which I have no doubt will proceed on the basis of the support which this Bill receives, will be a resounding success. I hope it is exciting and spectacular, and I hope it attracts significant tourists to Canberra and generates significant economic benefits for the Canberra community. I have almost no doubt that I will take the opportunity of attending the race. Let us hope that it succeeds. Let us hope that it is exciting. Let us hope that it does generate the economic benefits that events like this do undoubtedly have a capacity to provide.

But let us reflect on the fact that we are also asking the ACT taxpayer, at least in the start-up year, to spend $7.5m. That is a significant amount of money. We are asking the ACT taxpayer to support this initiative to the tune of $7.5m, and the Labor Party at least would have liked a little more justification of the bases on which it was decided that a $7.5m injection was a reasonable injection by the taxpayer into this event. As my colleague Ted Quinlan has said, we have not been provided with the level of detail that we would have appreciated.

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