Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3282 ..
MR PRATT (continuing):
spare. Such a facility would give these youths of Canberra a safe and suitable place to spend their time. It may also mean that the presence of youths in Braddon on Friday and Saturday nights would be reduced, with the facility giving them a place to go to as a group of motor sport enthusiasts.
Not only would the development of a motor sports facility in Majura provide an alternative for youths who may otherwise be out on the streets making trouble and breaking the law, but also it would provide an appropriate place for motor sports enthusiasts to gather instead of on the streets of Braddon. They could go there and show off their cars, as well as enjoy the sporting amenities and perhaps the sort of club life that would eventually-it would take time-be developed as the place was able to gather itself together and take off.
It would be a central place to gather that would be supervised by professional and experienced staff and, I suggest, would be frequently visited and constantly monitored by the police. Mr Speaker, this would encourage police and community interaction and would also ensure that the facility was a safe place for parents to send their children and for the community in general to visit. Police youth programs, such as vehicle care and safe driver training, could be developed around such infrastructure and through an interface such as police programs interacting with a dragway sporting complex.
Mr Speaker, I am not drawing a long bow when I say that the development of a motor sports facility in Majura would benefit Canberra's youth, parents, business, tourism, motor sport enthusiasts and community safety. I would like to take serious issue with the typically arrogant comments made by Mr Quinlan. He attacks the opposition because in some areas members have progressed their positions on policy issues over two years, as if changes of opinion based on meritorious research should be a crime, as if adapting policy positions to reflect changed community or budgetary circumstances and realities should be a crime. Get over it, Ted!
I do not share Mr Quinlan's pessimism either that a motor sports club could not run Friday and Saturday night activities for kids. The driving motive to overcome supervisory and litigation matters is the motive of deterring juvenile crime and doing something to help our kids get together and focus on our kids who are keen about the car culture. An imaginative and serious government could make it work. I would reject Mr Quinlan's pessimism.
Again I say that I support Mr Stefaniak's motion and believe that it would be advantageous to all for the government to honour its promise to Canberra and the motor sports community and develop the site at Majura without delay. I also think that it would be a great initiative and one most beneficial to our youth.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (4.17): I join my colleague Mr Quinlan in supporting his amendment, which outlines the positive steps that the government is taking to address this issue. Mr Speaker, there is a new euphemism in use in this place courtesy of Mr Pratt this afternoon, that is, "progressing your position". Others would call it gross inconsistency, Mr Speaker, but let's give Mr Pratt the benefit of the doubt and say that he is progressing his position.