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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2701 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

although there was a fall. You would certainly want the sales of them to be on an increase.

But the total for tickets sold went down from 58,540 to 39,082. Transposed into the effect on the finances of the event, the GMC400 was down $1.45 million. The minister tells us in his tabling statement that CTEC has advised that the event does not expect to require funding other than the amount already allocated by the ACT government for the next three years and that the five-year budget for the event has made some allowances for potential variations. If the five-year budget allowed for some potential variations, I do not know why we have been asked for an extra $1.5 million a year. That strikes me as a little bit odd. It has some allowances for potential variations of about $1.4 million a year, we can do that now, so do we get the $1.5 million back?

Mr Deputy Speaker, this is a classic statement. What has happened is that CTEC has gone to the government and said that it is in strife with the V8 car race as the numbers are not stacking up too well, people have given it the flick this year, and the government has said, "You are not going to get any money. Don't ask us for money. We cannot afford any more blowouts, we would be in deep and serious trouble, so hide it somehow." The best CTEC could come up with was to bury it in the outyears. You cannot bury that much money for this event.

Mr Hird: You are judging everyone else by yourself, Wayne.

MR BERRY: It is on paper, Mr Hird. Your statement says that CTEC has advised that the event does not expect to require funding other than the amount already allocated by the ACT government for the next three years. Gee, I wish they had said that when they asked for the $1.5 million extra a year, as we might have said that they do not need it. Indeed, all of a sudden a slush fund has emerged that is going to cover it. I do not believe that. I want to know what the escape clause is going to cost for every year between now and the fifth year. What are the penalties for the escape clause, which is going to be a significant expenditure by any government when CTEC cannot afford to pay for the fifth year? When we know that, we will have to weigh up where the money is going to come from in CTEC. Somebody will have to make up their mind about what is going to be cut in CTEC, because there will have to be cuts somewhere. Which part of their operations are they going to give the flick? Are they going to get stuck into Floriade? How many people are they going to sack?

Those are issues that we will have to face because this government totally underestimated the well-known effects of the outyears for these events. Why were they not taken into account? Why were they not in the business case? Where did the advice come from? How much do we pay AVESCO? Why won't AVESCO tell us that? Those are all issues that we have to better understand on this event.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Your time has expired, Mr Berry.

MR HIRD (4.23): I will be very brief, Mr Deputy Speaker. I could not resist following Mr Berry after he spoke of a disgraceful waste of money. That could have been said in respect of the $344 million debt that we took over in 1995. Harcourt Hill came on top of that. The fact is that at the time of the GMC400-the quietest time of the year; the Queen's birthday long weekend-you could not get any accommodation not just in the

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