Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1546 ..
MR PRATT (continuing):
Gungahlin Drive extension and drop the detrimental western option in favour of an eastern one?
MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Pratt. The short answer to that is no, I do not agree. There is a certain degree of histrionics related to the AIS objection. As you are probably aware, the AIS has a mixed bag on its board. It has some fairly powerful people. It seems to me that they have gone off without examining all of the issues associated with the road-whichever alignment it is-and without having discussions with the ACT government about what the impact of the road might be, what the reality might be and what studies might be done on noise abatement and air quality beforehand.
It seems to me a precipitative decision. It certainly has support within the federal government, and at least a couple of the ministers here have had discussions with sports minister, Rod Kemp, in relation to it. The discussions I had with Minister Kemp had that same old air of "Canberra doesn't matter."
MR QUINLAN: Quite clearly there are political games being played concerning the AIS-where it is located and where sporting centres of excellence in Australia might be. It may well be that, if we conduct air-quality and noise abatement studies and find that the road would have a deleterious impact upon our athletes such that they are not at their peak performance come Athens, then we would take that into consideration. But I have been to other places and seen other institutes of sport that seem to be a lot closer to the rest of the city without that creating too much of a problem. This is a bit of a tug-of-war without much reason in the middle, and that concerns me.
MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Mr Quinlan, are you saying that you have actually put to Mr Kemp and the federal authorities who have a custodial responsibility for the AIS your view that there are unlikely to be environmental impacts or infrastructure disruptions which may jeopardise the place? Have you actually put it to the federal authorities in that sort of detail?
MR QUINLAN: No, I certainly have not. What we are talking about is: there is the AIS and there is a great big chunk of land and there is a road. I do not think there has ever been a case of a road being built in Australia where someone did not want it ending up and would have preferred it to be elsewhere. When I heard what the AIS said in public, it seemed to me that there was more of that about the objection than there was about a genuinely reasoned objection. It is not as if, in the course of the last government-and I am sure you people were on the ball-the AIS did not know that there was a debate about which alignment the road would take. I expect they would have known about this for some time.
Mr Pratt: Well, they did. The committee report presented their concerns a year and a half ago.
MR QUINLAN: I do not know what you are talking about. In the lead-up to the election-I think you had been advised before that if the AIS themselves did not know about it, certainly the athletes that live there-
Mr Smyth: They put in a submission. Go and read it.