Page 492 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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Chief Minister promised to build a dragway within 18 months. Indeed, he repeated that commitment in a media release on 7 December when talking about the government’s second term agenda. Minister, will you be able to keep the Chief Minister’s promise made during the campaign to build a dragway within 18 months—that is, I think, April 2006?

MR QUINLAN: No, I will not. In fact, the Chief Minister and his department have undertaken to build a dragway. I think what was said in the lead up to the election was, “How long do you think this will take?” We have said, “Eighteen months”. We have not said, in black and white, “In exactly 18 months there will be a dragway.” We tried to acquaint the community and those who were directly—

Mrs Dunne: But he did. He said it in a media release on 7 December—that is black and white.

MR QUINLAN: Do you have to? We tried to explain to the people of Canberra, particularly those people who supported the establishment of a dragway, that there are difficulties—difficulties that you would face if you were on this side of the house. You know those difficulties exist. All the facts are on the table. The intention is there.

If you guys cannot rise above the nitpicking along the lines we have seen in the previous question, we are in a for a long, tedious series of question times. This government intends to establish a dragway. We have advised people that, for all the searching we might do, there are probably two sites available: sections 51 and 52, Majura. The preferred site falls within the purview of the National Capital Authority—about 40 per cent. It is the preferred site in terms of its topography and usefulness for establishing a dragway.

The next site is rather more undulating. Therefore, it may be more difficult to use as a dragway site. On the other hand, some of the undulations if left, or half left—whatever—might still work out OK in terms of the sound attenuation necessary for the dragway.

In my capacity as the sports minister, I have directed that we examine that second site, despite the fact that we have not resolved the first site. We should just get on and do the engineering assessment of the second block, should we not be able to get past that whole framework that has made it difficult to build the thing within range of the airport. That is one of the major problems—the connection between the desires of the airport and the considerable amount of influence in relation to the National Capital Authority. I think you are probably aware of that.

We will still face difficulty in trying to establish that dragway. If we cannot do it on those two sites, we have a problem. If you have any suggestions for alternative sites that might work—that might not have all sorts of other problems associated with them—please let us know.

As best I know, the work is being done to try to make sure that we establish that dragway within the envelope of the $8 million that we set aside, which I am advised is not a whole lot of money when it comes to dragways, if we are talking international standards. We do not intend to build international standard; the intention is to put the dragway fraternity

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