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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1852 ..

Questions without notice

Lyneham tennis centre

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for sport. Can the minister tell the Assembly whether there were any conditions attached to the capital grant of $1.7 million to Tennis ACT for the redevelopment of the Lyneham tennis centre? Was there a condition that should Tennis ACT pass the redevelopment proposal to a private sector third party the capital grant was repayable to the government? If that is the case, when will the government get back its $1.7 million from Mr James Hanna?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, as I said yesterday, this was an excellent opportunity for the ACT, regardless of what happened with any private development. As I told Mr Hargreaves, in assessing when you grant money or not you look at the community benefit. If the government gets back $1.7 million from any subsequent development of the area, well and good. That is a bonus. But with the $1.7 million, the bottom line, Mr Stanhope, is that we get five Rebound Ace courts and 15 clay courts, a total of 20 courts. As I said yesterday, that is a significant boon to tennis in the ACT. If this other development goes ahead we will then be refunded $1.7 million. That is a bonus, Mr Stanhope.

Mr Wood: If.

Mr Stanhope: Only if it goes ahead.

MR STEFANIAK: Even if something goes wrong. My colleagues have put conditions on that. Let us play devil's advocate and say it does not, Mr Stanhope. Even if that did not go ahead, we end up with 20 additional courts, which is a substantial investment for the sport of tennis and will assist many young Canberrans and not so young Canberrans have improved tennis facilities. As I indicated yesterday, a number of other Canberra sporting facilities have benefited from some fairly significant investment over recent years. I certainly have absolutely no drama with tennis benefiting as well. I suppose the difference with this potential development is that the government does stand to get its money back.

I certainly hope that this development can go ahead. I think it is a very exciting proposal which will hugely benefit Canberra. If it does not, we still have 15 of those 20 courts which will be Rebound Ace courts. They will be built in the next financial year. That was always part of the proposed arrangements. That will make us the clay court capital of Australia. That in itself, I think, will enable us to get some very significant competitions, as Tennis Australia have indicated. Also, it increases the range of opportunities for tennis in Canberra, basically grass roots tennis. Frankly, Mr Stanhope, that is what I particularly liked about the arrangements when the government agreed to pay $1.7 million over two years.

Mr Moore: It is 15 clay courts and five others. You said it back to front.

MR STEFANIAK: Fifteen clay courts and five Rebound Ace.

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