Page 1477 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 April 2005

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I had the pleasure of listening to several of the young people this afternoon as they told us about how much they enjoyed creating their art and how much they value the program and the friends they have made through it.

The launching of this exhibition is an early event prior to the commencement of Youth Week this Friday. Youth Week, you will note, follows neatly on the end of Seniors Week and can give members an opportunity for a change of pace and perspective. In fact, as one of the tutors of the young men’s group was a senior himself, this is a fine example of the generations working together.

I would urge members to visit the Belconnen Art Space and see the wonderful exhibition for themselves. I congratulate all involved in putting this exhibition together.

World rally championship

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (6.07): Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise for the government’s consideration a matter that needs to be looked at pretty urgently. I received a letter from a Kate Murray—as no doubt other members have—in relation to the world rally championship. She said:

As I hope you are aware, the ACT has a unique opportunity to gain a World Rally Championship … round, namely, Rally Australia. As a long standing rally official and resident in Canberra I am urging you to support a bid to win the rights to this event.

Gaining an event of this nature would put Canberra on the map around the world. Canberra has a unique geographic layout, making it an ideal city for this event to call home. The operating structure already exists, in a smaller form. The team that ran the Asia Pacific Championship … round are more than capable to operate this event, with your support.

I understand it is a large financial outlay, but looking at the figure from Perth, the money is made back well and truly. We need to look at the long-term benefits. This event will get more support if it is relocated to the eastern side of Australia, people will travel from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales to follow this event.

If we miss this boat, we may lose out altogether. There is a deal in place with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport … that if Western Australia gives up the right to the WRC round, they have the ability to take the APRC round from Canberra. We will be left without any event. This will have a negative effect on the morale of residents, the tourism economy, and the reputation of the ACT Government.

I urge you to support this opportunity and to act now. A submission has to be put in to CAMS by 12 April 2005. And the Australian Capital Territory Tourism Corporation and the rallying community need your support.

Please don’t let the ACT lose out completely.

I would ask the government to have a good, serious and very quick look at that. I understand these events are often expensive to run, but there may well be a great

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