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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1635 ..

Gungahlin Drive extension

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Quinlan, the minister for sport. Mr Corbell has stated today a number of times that the Australian Sports Commission is making judgments about the western route option not based on facts. In fact, the opposite is true. Minister, the Australian Sports Commission has commissioned Eldemar Research Associates to conduct a study of the impact of the western route of the Gungahlin Drive extension on the AIS. It found, "AIS concerns about the possible noise and air pollution effects of the western option on residents and other athletes are well-founded, in our opinion." Minister, will you reconsider your support for the western route of the Gungahlin Drive extension in light of the thorough study performed by Eldemar Research.

MR QUINLAN: Can I pass that question to Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the government is aware of the so-called Eldemar report and I think this highlights the approach being adopted by the Australian Sports Commission. On one hand they say they are going to cooperate with us in relation to examinations of the route. On the other hand they produce a report, which we were first aware of last night, and say, "Oh, it is finished, this is what it says and, by the way, it reaffirms our position." That is not the sign of a Commonwealth agency operating in conjunction with, and in cooperation with, the ACT government. It is unfortunate the commission has decided to work secretly on these issues and base its study on information that is not current or indeed relevant to the issues, and does not significantly add anything to the analysis.

Mr Speaker, the report addresses three main issues: noise, air quality and athlete health/performance. All of these issues are, of course, issues that have been identified as issues of concern by the government, and are the subject of a detailed joint study agreed to between the ACT government and the Australian Sports Commission. So it raises the question: why are they doing this work?

Let us go to the substantive issues of the study. The Eldemar report is based on assumptions about the horizontal and vertical alignment of Gungahlin Drive extension which are incorrect because the final alignment, the horizontal and vertical alignment, of Gungahlin Drive is yet to be determined. So how can they assert that the Gungahlin Drive alignment will have a particular impact when they don't know what the final vertical and horizontal alignment will be?

Interestingly, the Eldemar report also reports on the negative impact on local air quality of the western alignment, and it concludes:

The likelihood of a negative impact on local air quality from the eastern option could possibly be at least equal to that of the western option.

So very interestingly, either the eastern or the western alignment, according to the Australian Sports Commission-if you accept that-will have the same impact on air quality.

Mr Pratt: Just read a bit further.

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