Page 263 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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officer with personal and direct responsibility for delivering this particular promise on behalf of the people of the ACT.

That is the level of some of the steps that we have taken. We are, of course, determined to do everything we can to meet the promise. But, as I say—and this was made explicit—there are issues in relation to this, some of which are beyond the control of the ACT government, some of which will be difficult and complex. They go to issues around the availability of that land.

As I say, in the Liberal Party’s promises and undertakings in relation to this, the same issues would, of course, have been raised: one of the two parcels of land identified as suitable within the Majura Valley is not owned by us. One, of course, is territory land that is currently under lease. There are difficult and sensitive issues in relation to that. We are not going to go charging in to reef that particular lease. Even if the lessee were willing to sell, for instance, complex negotiations would have to be held. If there are not issues around that, there are significant issues around compulsory acquisition if that were the path that we had to pursue.

Our determination is strong. The steps we have taken are concrete and very direct. They have led, as I say, to formal directions from me to the department; they have led to meetings with the commonwealth. It has been at the top of our agenda.

MR STEFANIAK: Thank you, minister. Before the election, either you or Mr Quinlan promised to set up a steering committee containing representatives of the dragway proponents. Has that been set up yet? If not, why not?

MR STANHOPE: As I said in my earlier answer, very concrete steps have been taken.

Mr Seselja: It’s not what they said they’d do.

MR STANHOPE: We have been in government for three weeks. It is at the top of the agenda with the minister for territories. It is one of the first directions I have given to my department after we have been in government for three weeks.

No, the committee has not yet been formed, but it will be.

Social plan

MS PORTER: My question is to the Chief Minister, who announced, as part of the Canberra social plan, a commitment to enhance the celebration and commemoration of events of significance to the ACT community. Chief Minister, can you inform the Assembly of the progress of plans to celebrate Canberra, particularly in relation to Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Canberra Day?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Porter for that important question. Indeed, issues around celebrating Canberra and celebrating the community are very important to the people of Canberra. That has been recognised by the government formally in the Canberra social plan, which I was very pleased to release earlier this year. The Canberra social plan acknowledges quite explicitly the importance of ensuring a vibrant and united

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