Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3294 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

Ms Tucker raised the question of the environment, and the expenditure entailed in a dragway. I fear that this city would remain in a 2003 time warp for the rest of its days if we listened every time to the question of the environment. We need to recognise that the world and the people who live in it are entitled to some sort of recognition-aside from waving grassland, funny insects and suchlike. We are entitled-and the people who pay taxes in this territory are entitled-to some sort of recognition.

The other interesting point is that, if the environment in the Majura Valley is under threat by this dragway, then I presume the environment is also under threat from the correctional facility.

Mr Stefaniak: And from the airport.

MR CORNWELL: Mr Stefaniak adds another piece, which I will come to. Presumably, the environment is under threat from the correctional facility-and then there is the possible extension of the airport-to bring it up to an international standard.

All these things present challenges, such as the environment versus the social cost, when it comes down to a correctional facility. How do we weigh up those two? It is not an easy choice. I suggest the choice will not result in both the environment of the Majura Valley and the social benefits of a correctional facility for the ACT necessarily coming out on the same side of the environmental and social justice ledgers. Therefore, it seems to me that we must look at it from a more commonsense point of view.

May I remind those who talk about the environment that police driver training is run out there and I understand there is also an army rifle range in the area. I know of at least four rural properties which exist there. I do not think they are too worried about waving grasslands-except for their cattle or sheep.

We have to put this into perspective. The fact remains that there is a demand for motor sport-and there is land out there. There is clearly an opportunity to place the facility out there, along with other facilities this city needs. I suggest, therefore, that we should get on and address this matter, leaving aside the considerations raised as to whether we should proceed at all.

Let me conclude by addressing the question of cost. Governments always find it difficult to balance the outlays. The fact is that they have to do it, because governments represent a majority of people-that is why they are the government-and each of those people have different requirements and wants.

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR CORNWELL: Governments, by virtue of the fact that they are the government, obviously represent the majority of people. That majority has certain requirements-they have certain wants and needs, but they are all different. It is therefore up to governments to balance these things and allocate funds as they see fit.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .