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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1737 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I commend the Treasurer on being able to allocate a quarter of a million dollars per year for the next three years to the AFL. I hope the conditions-the contracts- under which they play here are very much the same.

Mr Quinlan: They have been sorted out; they have been fixed.

MR STEFANIAK: They have been sorted out and you have managed to have the same amount of money. If that is the case, Mr Quinlan, I say well done on that.

Whilst it is pleasing to see an allocation of $850,000 for a new water-based pitch to replace the old sand pitch at the Lyneham Centre-and that is about what they cost-I would like to have seen money from this government to assist the ACT to host the major international tournaments being planned from 2005 onwards. That is $5 million all up, Treasurer, but a lot of that can be obtained from the Commonwealth. Just a little start by the people opposite may well have been useful.

In respect of the dragway, say what they might in the Labor Party, everyone out there regards that as a broken promise. You, Mr Speaker, were very supportive of that.

Mr Corbell: Show us the promise!


: Mr Corbell-who has been interjecting and being incredibly rude during this entire debate-was also very supportive of it. Say what you will, those people regard that as a promise, and a lot of effort has been expended there. Indeed I well recall the money I, as sports minister, spent in the last few months of the previous government in respect of the economic study-and also a site for that.

Treasurer, I notice there may be another site. I almost saw a glimmer of hope there. I thought you might be doing something. I thought you had completely wiped the dragway. If you have done so, that is an absolute travesty. I repeat that there is very much a broken promise there and a lot people are extremely unhappy as a result of that.

Mr Speaker, during the time of the previous government, we did rein-in of cost overspends in a number of areas. One of those areas was the running of swimming pools. We inherited running costs of $1.79 million a year for the five pools owned by the government. Through contracting out the pools and other arrangements, that got down to under $400,000.

There are concerning figures here in relation to a possible change in the way the pool subsidies are operating, with the figure for this current financial year being $497,000, increasing to $784,400 for the next year. The explanation given for that is that it is a result of pool subsidies being higher than the target over the current financial year, due to increased subsidies required to be paid to operators in accordance with revised contracts, reflecting sustainable funding of pool operations. That is a significant increase in the operating costs of swimming pools, and perhaps just another indication of the inability of this government to efficiently manage the finances of the territory. That is an area of concern, and something I will be watching very carefully.

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