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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2592 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

will not find that ACTEW, TotalCare, Environment ACT, ACT Forests, or whoever else has been delighted to support a government event, will be required to support this one; that we will not get some explanation at a future time, such as: "Oh, well, that number was really only a net number, and that is all we have spent net. It just happened it cost a bit more in gross terms than we originally estimated".

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (12.01): Mr Speaker, obviously the Government opposes these amendments. I suppose it is not surprising that the Greens, an environmental organisation, would oppose an event which promotes the use of cars, but I still have to say I think it is disappointing that we have not seen a little more thought about what this means to the ACT. I personally am not a great aficionado of cars. I have no particular desire at this stage to go and see cars screaming around a racing circuit of some sort.

Mr Moore: You don't know what you are missing, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not speak for all my colleagues when I make these observations, but I certainly speak for myself in that respect. Mr Speaker, I support this event for a very simple reason. It is not that I have a desire to smell the burning petrol in my nostrils around the Parliamentary Triangle. It is because this event represents jobs for the ACT, in the short term and in the long term - immediate jobs and jobs that are indirectly the result of this event. Those jobs flow from the estimated benefit of something like $50m over the next five years.

Ms Tucker might not care about other things to do with this race. She might not care about the way in which it mixes up the image of Canberra; that it makes Canberra no longer seen in the minds of some Australians as a city of national monuments. She might not care about that. But she ought to care about jobs. She asks, "If we had a debate about priorities for the Government overall for the ACT", and I might say that that is the sort of thing - - -

Ms Tucker: Jobs in social services too, Gary.


Ms Tucker: Lots of jobs in social services. Don't worry.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, there are lots of jobs in social services, but we cannot create this number of jobs in the same way, by investing the same amount of money in social services, because we have here people investing money from outside the ACT and coming here in large numbers to take part in an event which has a direct and an indirect benefit to the ACT which is very considerable. Ms Tucker can pour cold water on the costings, but those costings are used now by governments all over Australia and all over the world in order to be able to estimate the benefit to the community of events that they host. She might maintain that all the governments of the world have got it wrong, but I do not think they have.

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