Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3008 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
The library is something that a previous Labor government wanted to cut in 1994. Mr Speaker, I recall you being put in a bit of an embarrassing situation in having to defend it. I was pleased to be able to ensure that the library continued with additional hours of operation, courtesy of the then Minister for Urban Services, Mr De Domenico. Now is the time to ensure the permanency of that library and enhance it further. That is something that clearly needs to be done and the government should not sit on its hands in relation to that or the rest of the centre.
Mr Speaker, I have already mentioned some changes in direction by the Labor Party in relation to the skateboard park and the tennis courts. I am quite happy to explain to Mr Quinlan how the finances for the courts operate. I do not want to take up the time of the Assembly on doing so now as I have only about a minute left to speak.
To comment on one other area of urban services and the environment: I notice that the minister still has not come out with a final 10-year plan for Fairbairn Park. I would urge upon him to give leases to the Motor Sport Council. I would urge upon him to adopt what 1,407 petitioners wanted and what 19 of the 24 formal submissions wanted, that is, at least 30 noise credits for the users of Fairbairn Park and 10 for the National Capital Car Club. I think that that is absolutely important. I am appalled by the fact that, although there is only one complainant now in relation to noise, the department bends over backwards to satisfy the needs of that person and not those of the thousands of people who legitimately enjoy motor sport.
Mr Quinlan: Why didn't you sort it out, then, Bill?
MR STEFANIAK: We put it in our policy that we would give them 30 credits. There was a detailed consultation process which indicated quite clearly that the vast majority of people want an increase in the number of credits available to 30. (Extension of time granted.) That was the view of the vast majority of people as a result of that consultation process, which is now finished and the department is assessing. I think it should have finalised the assessment by now. Such an increase makes sense.
Mr Quinlan, I would certainly hope that, as sports minister, you will be backing grassroots motor sport, which has produced a number of champions in Canberra, in terms of the final policy. Some improvements have been made by the Office of the Environment over the last couple of years, which I was pleased to see. You have all the information there. The vast majority of the people want a fair go for motor sport, something your people do not seem to be giving at this time.
I will close on that point. I was going to talk about the arts, which are part of Mr Bill Wood's portfolio. No doubt my colleague Mr Humphries, who has a dear passion in that area, will have a few words to say later in that regard. I thank members for their attention and for the opportunity to deliver Mrs Cross' speech.
MR PRATT (10.58): Mr Speaker, I rise to talk to part 11 with respect to oval and park maintenance and to some aspects of the sport infrastructure relative to this portfolio in terms of budget planning.