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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2591 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

had happened, I wonder if we would have seen this car race given the priority that it has been given today. I have moved these amendments to make it clear that it is not a view shared by the Greens and, I believe, by many people in the community. My office has received a large number of calls. As well, people in the street as well as community organisations have been talking to me about this.

Obviously, I had to separate the two expenditures - the car race and the hospice. The hospice is worthy of support, of course. I will not go back into the debate about the process of selecting a site for the hospice because it has been dealt with already in this place and I would not like to reflect on the vote, Mr Speaker.

MR QUINLAN (11.56): Mr Speaker, I have to speak against the amendments. I do so because I am very keen to see the amounts of money that the Government has projected for this project, if it is to go ahead and if we win it, to be precisely and specifically incorporated into the Appropriation Bill. We have already had some discussion this morning about some doubts that we might have over those figures and whether they might be another example of rubbery figures put forward by this Government.

There was some challenge this morning, particularly from Mrs Carnell, that we did not ask questions. Part of the reasons for that is that normally we do not get a specific answer or precise answer to a question at question time. It is all part of the game, I presume, but we usually get some sort of political statement. We are more interested in precision, which is usually much more forthcoming in the estimates process, but I will not reflect on that vote any further.

We do have concern that the numbers be incorporated in the Appropriation Bill because we see in the brief economic benefit statement that has been provided to me and to others in this place, but not to everybody, that there is no account of the novelty factor of the event and that the first year might not attract more people than the second year. There are elements like the capital equipment being written off over 10 years even though it does not look like the sort of stuff that would last all that long without being repaired for one reason or another, not the least being hit by something, when in fact we are negotiating for the race for five years. I would have thought it was commonsense to incorporate into the costings the capital cost over the period for which we could reasonably expect to be sure of having the race in the ACT.

We can make considerable challenges to the value of the exposure. Regularly, we see coming to this place some proposals or explanations for investment in events and we talk about the overall economic benefit to the ACT. I have not done the sums but I rather expect that if all of those promises were realised we would virtually have streets lined with gold. They are, quite obviously, from time to time exaggerations which might have been teased out in another place in a more reasoned process rather than across this chamber at question time.

What I would ask, in opposing these amendments so that the numbers are specifically detailed in the Appropriation Bill, is that we get some guarantee from the Government that the funds will not be topped up by the usual suspects. I seek a guarantee that we

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