Page 1825 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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Canberra Motor Sports Council. It is the only remaining motor sport facility in Canberra. It has the hill climb and the go-cart tracks, which is a wonderful training ground for young drivers, as is indeed the motorbike track where some of us were for the Rally of Canberra.

The government has put in, I think, $100,000, although I understand it might go to $180,000, for a full DA. I suggested some months ago that that is unnecessary. I would like the government, and the minister especially, to reconsider this because I think some problems have arisen.

The lease originally started in 1976 and expired in 1986. The motor sport community tells me that there is effectively a 20-year lease. I am not sure if it is equitable or what, but they certainly pay every three months on it. I assume the old lease had expired. To the government’s credit, they are seeking to get them a new lease. They need a new lease, but problems have arisen.

Problems have arisen largely because of one man who goes under the name of the Ridgeway Residents Action Group. I have a few questions I would like the government to check out in relation to this. This supposed group paid $10.60 when the development application went in—and there was public advertisement—to ask a number of questions. I understand ACTPLA or Environment ACT went in, and then ACTPLA issued a notice, I think, about a month ago to the Motor Sports Council as a result.

I might say that there has not been a huge amount of development going on at that site. There have been a couple of buildings put up for the various codes of motor sport and some track work on the hill climb to bring it back to a reasonable standard of maintenance. And that is about it, apart from a fair bit of work done for the Rally of Canberra, which we saw on the motorbike site. That really is about it, plus I think some rubble from the Canberra Hospital was dumped there once. Most of the substantive work there has been done probably in about the last 10 years by DUS and by whoever was doing the stuff for the Rally of Canberra.

In my view, I do not think you need a full DA. Basically, if problems have arisen, I would be asking the government to look at perhaps withdrawing that and issuing a lease. Obviously, if any further development is going to happen on that site, once the motor sport people get a full lease, that would be subject to a DA. Basically nothing much has happened because they are just ordinary community clubs who run the lease; they are volunteer labour; they get very little assistance from government, although in each budget there has been, in the sports budget, a little bit of assistance over the last 10 years or so. But it is never more than about $10,000. They train a lot of young people, especially, to be good drivers. They are of great benefit to our community, plus they bring in a fair bit of business.

I ask the government to investigate the status of the Ridgeway Residents Action Group. I note there should be three signatories to it. Mr Murmain may well have a couple of mates who still sign, but Mr Wood, when he was minister, advised me that Mr Murmain is the only person who has complained about Fairbairn Park since 1995. It used to be just noise. He is a serial complainer and I would hate to see one person destroy this motor sport facility, which is the only one left here.

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