Page 1524 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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MR STANHOPE: I don’t think it is fair to say there are delays. I think it is fair to say that the land that has been identified, for instance, is not owned by the ACT government. I am not saying there is a delay as a result of that—you might, but I think there are some wee little steps that we need to take in relation to the obtaining of the land in the first place.

We have identified the site; we are negotiating with the leaseholder; we are talking with neighbours; we are investigating issues around noise; we are investigating whether or not the site would be appropriate, in any event. We have undertaken site assessments of the dragway in New South Wales to determine issues around the level of noise a dragway develops and emits, the extent to which noise carries and the potential for it to be an issue for the residents of Canberra, particularly those most closely resident to the Majura Valley. This is hardly, I would have thought, one of those issues where a government would simply plonk something as potentially invasive as a dragway without some serious attention to issues associated with it.

Mr Stefaniak: Are there any delays? Why don’t you just answer the question?

Mr Seselja: Why did you make the 18-month commitment?

MR STANHOPE: Is this the Liberal Party position—that there should be no assessment of noise?

Mr Smyth: No. We didn’t say that.

MR STANHOPE: This is the Liberal Party position—that we should charge into the Majura Valley, identify land—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members of the opposition!

MR STANHOPE: and just plonk it there, without any assessment of the extent to which the noise that would be generated by a dragway might affect the amenity of others. This is, of course, the Liberal Party approach; we know that. That is why at the last election nobody voted for you—because, essentially, the people of Canberra know how hopeless you are. I have to say that the longer this term of the Assembly goes, the clearer it becomes.

Mr Stefaniak: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. He is debating the issue. All I asked him as a supplementary was: are there any delays?

MR SPEAKER: I think he is entitled to contrast the government’s position with the opposition’s position, is he not?

MR STANHOPE: I am. And now that the thought has occurred to me, it is relevant, I think, in the context of the debate around the dragway, to have regard for the position of the Liberal Party in relation to this and other issues and the extent of their dedication

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