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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5056 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

the first Carnell government back in about 1995 or 1996. I was delighted to give this under one of the sports programs.

We proved again on Sunday that the little boats which are used-they are like bathtubs-are unsinkable. They are just wonderful for people with disabilities or indeed anybody who likes mucking about in boats. Again, it was a great event and I think it speaks volumes for the contribution made by Sailability under the excellent leadership of a number of people, not least Terry Peek.

As Mrs Dunne said, it was a shame that the media won-they did cheat, they were 30 metres in front, and I am sure they did not have their blindfolds on. We almost caught the boys and girls from FM 86.7, or whatever the FM station is in the Tuggeranong valley. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed tackling the two Peters just short of the bank. Unfortunately, the third member of that team, who was from Sailability, not the media, got the flag. So maybe they really cannot claim that they won. But, again, it was an excellent event. I would like to thank young Natalie, who is 12 and a member of Sailability, and Elaine, a disability sailor, for being part of the crew with me. That was great and it was a wonderful event.

The final matter I want to raise concerns the Belconnen golf course estate development. I think that you, Mr Speaker, and Ms Dundas and Mrs Dunne were at one of the meetings that were held. I personally think it is an exciting development and I certainly hope it goes ahead. What has impressed me is the process that has been followed by both the Magpies club and the developers. I think they have letterboxed the area. They have had a number of community meetings. At a meeting in June some concerned golfers were worried about the 18-hole course being disfigured rather than configured in a better way. Those concerns were very much taken into account and I think a much better golf course will result from that.

The proponents of the aged complex in the development have shown a lot of patience and engaged in very good consultation in taking on board community concerns. I think they have done a particularly good job in trying to allay community concerns.

I was interested to see some of the figures which were given at one of the meetings. That meeting was attended by people from the Morshead Home, Graeme Evans from the Belconnen Community Council and a gentleman who said that over the years he had run about three different aged persons and nursing homes in Canberra and he thought this was the best development he had seen and that it was right up with the best in Australia.

I was very worried to hear that even in my electorate of Belconnen some 7,450 people were over 70 years of age in 2000 and that that figure will grow to 14,000 by 2010. I think there is a real need for some good lateral thinking here and for developments such as this and others throughout the territory to go ahead. We are facing a bit of a crisis in aged accommodation and I think that brings home just how terribly important it is to have a good mix of sensible, practical developments which will assist in housing all types of elderly people. I think this one is a particularly good one.

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