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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3237 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

could not be located elsewhere without significant cost. Furthermore, the fact that the extension is to be driven down the western boundary of the AIS means that its planned expansion is going to be impeded. With the $65 million that the federal government has allocated for further works, the AIS had planned to expand west. It cannot expand north, east or south. There simply isn't the space. So, clearly, this trench driven down the western side is going to impede those works that the AIS must undertake. It must grow. It has got the capacity to grow. It now cannot do that.

We hear from the government that it will guarantee that the World Rugby Cup is not going to be jeopardised by the Gungahlin Drive extension. I hope that is the case. One would hope that any preliminary works conducted in 2003, in terms of works around the fringe of the AIS and Canberra Stadium, are not going to impede the planning for and then the successful running of our part of the international World Rugby Cup. If that was the case, it would be unforgivable.

In opposition, Mr Quinlan made great play and accused then minister, Jackie Kelly, of "not doing enough" for the AIS. Well, now that the federal government has allocated $65 million-a clear demonstration that the federal government is doing plenty to ensure that this national icon is maintained in an appropriate way-we see this government doing very little if anything but wreck the AIS' chances in terms of future planning and current maintenance.

It would be absolutely unforgivable if, as a result of unwise government decision making and bad planning, the future of the AIS was jeopardised and the AIS was packed up by the federal government and removed from Canberra to greener fields. One would hope that this will not be the case. I am concerned, and quite distressed really, at the shabby treatment that this great national icon of ours has received in terms of the planning under way at the moment on the part of this government. I emphasise that I am not aware of any definitive statement from the AIS or the ASC or any other federal authority they are going to move the AIS-that has not been written-but clearly the threat does exist. There has been talk about that, and so let us hope it does not come to that.

Could I move on now to the Bruce precinct. The Bruce precinct is an area which we would normally see roads built around, not through the middle of. It is a zone which encompasses the AIS, the ASC, Bruce CIT, the ASC sporting facility south of Canberra Stadium and the technology park-and all of these co-exist and support each other. And they should support each other in the future in terms of the growth that we would like to see in this precinct. The sporting, technological, sports science and sports education activities should all be able to supplement and support each other. Well, the driving of a trench through the middle of all this is going to make it a good deal more difficult to maintain that holistic approach to future development in this area, and one of the most important areas in the ACT is going to be jeopardised.

Let us talk about Canberra Stadium. Canberra Stadium is something which the previous government built and of which it is extremely proud. It is a stadium-straight faces here, Mr Speaker-of which the ACT community is extraordinarily proud.

Mr Stefaniak: Someone was just thanking me for it the other day.

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