Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3283 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
Someone said to me on my way down the stairs that normally when you want to reopen a court case you need fresh evidence, you need something new. In both this debate and the earlier debate we had today, the Liberal Party have failed to provide anything new that demonstrates and justifies a change of position.
Mr Quinlan: Progressing.
MR CORBELL: I'm sorry, a progressing of their position. That is quite typical of the approach we have seen the Liberals adopt in the session today. No, they are not interested in trying to find any real justification for the change in their position; they are just keen to get on and change their position. I do not have a problem with oppositions changing their position when there is a strong basis for doing so, when there is some fresh evidence, when there is something new, but simply to say that they have looked at the facts again and they have not changed, but they have changed their minds is somehow a positive progressing of their position.
The reality is that it is the failure of the previous Liberal government, under their now leader, Mr Smyth, which saw the closure of the dragway facility adjacent to the airport. Since that time, obviously, drag-racing enthusiasts have been denied an opportunity to enjoy their sport in the ACT.
The ACT government have made very clear that we think the contribution we can make is to bring to the table a parcel of land, and that is dependent on the drag-racing fraternity demonstrating their capacity to make good use of that land and to invest in its operation and make it a self-sustaining operation. To that end, Mr Quinlan's amendment outlines the steps we are currently taking to make sure that we are in a position to have land available; in particular, the negotiations which are currently being undertaken between the ACT government and the Commonwealth to acquire land in the Majura Valley for a correctional facility, but also freeing up land potentially for a dragway/motor sport facility.
Mr Speaker, that is the very positive and proactive step the government is taking. I understand that Mr Stefaniak has given a commitment for next year's election that the Liberals will fund a dragway facility. I am very interested to see how the Liberals would find the $6 million or so that they need to build the facility. I look forward to the budget accountability there. More importantly, I think that Mr Stefaniak needs to work out exactly how he is going to get this land. Unless this government is successful in acquiring land from the Commonwealth, the only other land is held under rural lease.
I am not quite sure whether Mr Stefaniak has looked closely at the processes for acquiring land, but it is highly doubtful that acquiring land for a dragway is acquiring land for a public purpose, which is the provision under the Lands Acquisition Act. You had better make a note of it, Bill; check that one out. That is the only justification on which the territory can acquire land; either that or it has to enter into some sort of private treaty with the leaseholder. Obviously, that would mean acquiring the land for much more than its potential value.
Mr Speaker, those are some of the flaws in the Liberal Party's approach. They have not worked out how they are going to acquire the land and they have not explained to the community how they are going to pay for it, let alone how they are going to pay for