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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3284 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

a multimillion dollar facility. This government's approach is a responsible and supportive one. We have outlined the approach we have adopted to try to acquire land so that we do have the capacity to deliver a dragway facility if the supporting dragway enthusiasts are able to bring the other half of the equation to the table, which is the ongoing financing and operation of the facility. Mr Speaker, to do it in any other way really would not be a responsible use of money.

In the same sitting period we have had Mr Stefaniak say that he thinks that $6 million at least should be on the table and Mr Pratt insist on a 261/2 per cent pay increase for teachers, which would be, I think, a recurrent expenditure of about $50 million. So I am interested in the Liberal's claim about budget accountability. At the end of the day, who are the financially responsible ones here? Who are the ones who are properly managing the territory's finances?

Mr Speaker, we are looking to the future. We are looking to ways to deliver. We are looking at the way to deliver a proactive approach which can support dragway enthusiasts in a collaborative way. I think that Mr Quinlan's amendment should be supported because his approach is definitely the best approach on this issue.

MRS BURKE (4.23): I am finding this debate really interesting. This has already been raised today by Ms Dundas. I hope people go through their lives reviewing their decisions and are then able to present another position, based on further information.

Mr Corbell says that this decision we have suddenly made is not based upon new information. We are not allowed to change our minds, but they sat here for six years and did what they wanted to do. They blamed us for this, and now they are blaming us for that-it is interesting. I think they are becoming pass masters at avoiding the hard decisions.

They are using an interesting strategy. They promised it in 2001, but have sat on their hands ever since. As has just been alluded to, it could become an election issue again next year. I find it amusing. I think it is encouraging to see that government members are now at least on speaking terms with the Commonwealth and not being childish, as they are in many other areas. That is pleasing to see.

I ask: where is your commitment? Is this another broken promise? The statement-and that is all it is-Mr Quinlan has put forward appears to be a complete cop-out on the motor sport sector. I am no expert when it comes to motor sport, but I am disappointed. Mr Quinlan has made mention of the V8 car race and some of the things around that. It was disheartening that the government saw fit to capitulate on the staging of the V8 car race in Canberra.

We know that jurisdictions hosting V8s do well. There is obviously huge support and a big groundswell for motor sport in Australia. It could be managed and promoted well. Mr Quinlan himself said he had been told it is a pity that the event was in winter. I have a little saying: it is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. One can say that the former government at least tried to get the economy revved up. I make no apology for the pun.

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