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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3281 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

smart enough to say, "We were blowing a lot of dough on it, though. It was in winter, which was the wrong time. If we got another crack at it, it might be okay."

Mr Speaker, I think that my amendment to Mr Stefaniak's motion puts the situation in perspective. I think that it is a reasonable modification of the motion for this Assembly to pass today.

MR PRATT (4.10): I would like to speak to Mr Stefaniak's motion of support for a motor sport facility, including a dragway, in the ACT. Mr Speaker, as you would know from Mr Stefaniak's well-presented case, the Liberal Party supports the development in the ACT of a dragway and eventually a motor sports facility encompassing other motor sport activities.

We have not in the past-and would not in the future, by the way-support the building of a dragway or something of that ilk near Macarthur. I stress that now so that the residents of that part of the world know quite clearly that we do support, for the reason that the Brindabella and Tuggeranong Valley areas are not suitable, the building of such a complex in the Majura Valley.

A motor sports facility incorporating a dragway is an important and needed asset for the ACT. However, we do need to recognise that residential amenity is, and always will be, Canberra's most prized asset. Towards the end of 2001, the then Liberal government commissioned a study into the best possible sites for a dragway, and the study quite clearly indicated that overall, for a whole bunch of reasons including those I have stressed, Majura would be the best site.

The building of a full motor sports facility, including a dragway, in Majura would allow motor sports enthusiasts and the youth of Canberra to come together at a suitable location and enjoy that complex. Developing a facility which included a sports club and even night time drag events for young people would be, I would think, a very positive step to take.

I issued a media release this morning calling on the government to direct more attention to juvenile crime in the ACT following a spate of car thefts in the Belconnen area. I believe that the development of a motor sports facility at Majura may contribute to a reduction in juvenile crime and general, low-level vandalism activities in the ACT. Youths as young as 12 years of age are currently involved in stealing, joy-riding and vandalising vehicles in Canberra, to quote an AFP newsletter of some weeks ago.

Mr Speaker, in my media release, I called on the government to look at ways to ramp up crime prevention programs and said that the community should work together to protect our children. The provision of a motor sports facility for the people of Canberra would provide youths with an alternative to hanging around in the streets and at the local shops and give them a place to spend their time with a range of people who are also interested in motor sports.

As I stated earlier, a motor sports track with club rooms and night events would, in time, provide a social and sporting arena for Friday and Saturday nights and perhaps take our young enthusiasts away from suburban back streets, such as the latest drag strip located somewhere between Kambah and Mount Taylor, where the residents are being driven

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