Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 854 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

a majority of members of this Assembly reject what has come out of this committee report. I hope they will stand up for a proper analysis of the issues and not just keep the big end of town happy.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (12.20): I am amazed that Ms Tucker talks about the big end of town. I am going to talk about a whole lot of little people. I want to talk about the very talented athletes of the AIS. A lot of Canberrans at the ACT Academy of Sport, which is at the CIT, hardly constitute the big end of town. I want to talk about the little people of Canberra who go out to Bruce Stadium and get much enjoyment from watching the Brumbies and the Raiders-and probably not quite so many people go to watch the Cosmos. I also want to talk about the various local sporting bodies that use the facilities at the AIS.

I have had a look at this proposal and I know the area very well. The western route-which I think Mr Corbell likes; I do not think Ms Tucker likes any route-goes right through the car park near the residences of the AIS. I note the AIS put in a number of submissions, as did the Academy of Sport. I note Jim Ferguson, who was then the head of the AIS, put in a very reasoned submission.

I just remind members who seem to favour the western route that there are a lot of people interstate who would dearly like the AIS to move out of Canberra. People are quite happy to bash Canberra. The AIS brings considerable benefit to this city-in fact it brings huge benefit to our sporting population-in that it is a pretty major industry. It provides a wonderful service in assisting talented athletes, including many from the ACT. You only need to look at the results at the Paralympics and the Olympics to see how well some of our local athletes have performed.

Mr Ferguson, John Boultbee and others at the AIS are very concerned that if this western route were to go ahead the AIS would move out of the ACT. I am amazed that the Labor Party would be supporting something like that, I am amazed that Mr Quinlan could possible support something like that, because I think that is a very real danger. In fact, I think that would almost certainly come to pass if the western route went ahead. It would be very difficult for the AIS to continue its operations were that route to go ahead. It would also cause considerable inconvenience to large numbers of Canberrans.

The most contentious route in this whole debate was the route which went down the O'Connor ridgeline to marry up with Barry Drive. The Chief Minister ruled that out back in October. I have walked that route and I can understand the concerns of the Save the O'Connor Ridge people. On occasions I used to walk over the O'Connor ridge from Lyneham to go to the stadium. But that route has been ruled out. The proposed route-the eastern route-skirts around those facilities. I think it has been well picked. I think it causes minimal disruption. If you are going to have an extension, it is the best possible extension to have in all the circumstances.

I commend the majority of the committee for exercising commonsense in this very difficult and emotional issue. I note that that is the only issue that Mr Corbell dissents from. The committee made a detailed study and I commend all members of the committee for agreeing on all points bar one. I commend Mr Hird, as chair, and other members of the committee for doing a very good job. But I just caution members to be

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .