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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2699 ..

MR BERRY: Mr Deputy Speaker, I am troubled by this report. I have seen all the economic benefit figures which have been put into the report. No doubt, the government will want to emphasise those figures, rather than looking at the performance of the event. I would be embarrassed about it, too. It would be a matter of some extreme embarrassment to me to have a situation like that confronting a Labor government, but by now the Liberals would have been hardened to that because they have had so many of them.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Berry, speak to the report, please.

MR BERRY: They have had so many of them that they need your protection, Mr Deputy Speaker. But somebody as tough and resilient as you are cannot protect this lot from all of the mistakes that they have made in the past.

We are angry because we were conned into supporting this event. The chickens started to come home to roost when we were called upon to put an extra $1.5 million each year into the event as it started to come apart at the seams because the government had not properly estimated expenditure on the event. We also discovered that somewhere between zero and $1.4 million out of the administrative expenses goes in a hidden payment to AVESCO. We have never discovered how much money they get. How on earth can you call yourself open and accountable when these chunks of money are hidden away? Every time we have this event it costs us more money-$1.5 million a year, another $4.5 million over the life of the event. What can the Assembly do when you come back and say that you have to have the extra money or AVESCO will walk away from it? I will guarantee that penalty payments for early termination are built in there somewhere. I would like to know what they will be, as well, when we cannot afford to have this event in the fifth year.

Of course, you will be saying to yourself, "We are not going to talk about the fifth year now, because we are going to an election. We do not want to hear a word said about that," but you will have to hear about it. CTEC have said that they are going to manage this event within budget. If they are going to manage it within budget, where will the money come from? I predict that it will come out in the fifth year with the payment of penalties when you cut off the fifth year of the race or it will come out of some other area of CTEC's operations, say, Floriade.

Mr Humphries: What are you going to do about it?

MR BERRY: We will be busy cleaning up the mess and lamenting the fact that we would have been $100 million better off if it were not for disasters like this one; that is what we will be doing. You could never hide the disgraceful waste of money that you have been involved in during your period in office. The instances just keep ringing in our ears-Bruce Stadium, Hall/Kinlyside.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Come back to the report, please, Mr Berry.

MR BERRY: Mr Deputy Speaker, this is about the report.

Mr Smyth: I take a point of order. The only reason it rings in Mr Berry's ear is that the vessel is empty; so, if it is hollow, it has room to reverberate.

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