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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1348 ..

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. What programs will be reduced as a result of this change? There is still reduced expenditure this year in the Planning and Land Management group compared to last year. So what programs will be reduced and what staff will be made redundant?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, Mr Corbell, as always, refuses to listen. What I have said is that the program that has been going on for three years is now finished. If he looks at page 184 of BP4 he will see that other expenses, which amounted to $500,000 this year, will be zero next year. I do not expect any drop in the staff level. There are always some minor adjustments as staff come and go. But we have been re-recruiting. We have been recruiting experience to make sure we get on with delivering the planning outcomes that the people of Canberra deserve; so that we deliver better planning outcomes. That change process has taken some three years and that is the money that was being used to carry out that process. There is no need for it any longer.

Walking race

MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services and relates to his responsibility for CTEC and its role in the organisation of the V8 supercar race. Minister, you may be aware that there is another sporting activity that normally happens on the June long weekend, that is, the Lake Burley Griffin walking race carnival, which has been held in Canberra for, I understand, 35 years and attracts walkers from all over Australia. The walking race course is on roads and bike paths around the lake. Last year, this event was significantly disrupted by the closing off of Flynn Drive behind the Hyatt Hotel for the supercar race.

It appears that the changes proposed to the supercar race which are being funded by the government's additional appropriation will virtually cut off the use of this area for the walking race. The organisers of the walking race have been attempting to work with CTEC to find a way for the walkers still to traverse this part of the lake's foreshore but, basically, have been fobbed off. There was a meeting with CTEC six weeks ago at which action was promised, but the walkers have not heard anything since. There is now five weeks to go and the walking course still has not been finalised, which is jeopardising the whole race.

Minister, what will you do to ensure that this environmentally sound and healthy walking race can still be held around Lake Burley Griffin, or do you not think that it deserves support against the environmentally and socially destructive car race?

MR SMYTH: Both events clearly are of great value to the ACT and we value both events. What we need to do is find a way forward. We need to make sure that CTEC and officials of the walking race are communicating properly. I am saddened to hear that there has been a lack of communication. I will make sure that CTEC contacts the race officials to work out a solution that, hopefully, can meet the needs of both events.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. The walking club has proposed that a paved walking track be built right on the lake edge around Lennox Gardens and up to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge along which the race could be held as an alternative to using the bike path. Would you consider the urgent construction of this track as a cost that should be borne by the supercar race organisers?

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