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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1310 ..

Rugby world cup

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the minister for sport, Mr Quinlan. It relates to the rugby world cup. As minister for sport, Mr Quinlan, do you accept responsibility for ensuring the organisation of any of the ACT government's participation in the rugby world cup, and do you consider you have a role in making it run smoothly? If so, will you be participating in ministerial level discussions between the ACT Rugby Union and the Australian Rugby Union on matters relating to the world cup, including the possible impact of the western route of the Gungahlin Drive extension on the world cup?

MR QUINLAN: The answer is: if necessary. I have had discussions with the ACT Rugby Union. I have had discussions with the CEO of the Stadiums Authority. You may or may not be aware that they are taking a leading role in trying to attract quality games. The negotiations continue. Members need to understand that the games we get will be within the structure of the world cup.

When we are hunting for games, we will be looking for a seeded team to come to Canberra and use Canberra as their base in the early rounds and probably play a couple of games here. We hope that that seeded team is a quality team. We would then be looking to a couple of other games to come to town.

I am quite happy that the Stadiums Authority is capable of running for what may be four rugby games. You may or may not be aware that they regularly host rugby games now. They cater for capacity crowds quite successfully. Canberra Stadium and its management have been quite capable so far.

I have not interposed myself in the negotiations, nor have I seen any great necessity to do so. If there is a necessity to do so, then I will be involved. If you think it is beyond the wit of mankind to replace a dirt car park on the western side of Canberra Stadium with another dirt car park for a couple of weeks-and that is the biggest concern you have about the world cup-you have a very vivid imagination or not a lot to ask questions about.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question. Minister, in the discussions you have had with the ACT Rugby Union and the Stadiums Authority, what undertakings have you given to ensure the safety of patrons as they pick their way through the building site that will be the Gungahlin Drive extension?

MR QUINLAN: To the best of my recollection, none. As I said earlier, at this point it has not emerged as an earth-shattering-excuse the pun-issue.

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