Page 4775 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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Urban Services. I saw the letter when the minister passed it to me in the chamber to make sure I was happy with the wording. I was happy with the wording, and off it went.

Unfortunately, the Department of Defence, the airport and a few other federal government departments were not terribly keen on seeing the dragway continue. Unfortunately, despite very public representations by me in January 1999, the 10-year lease was not extended. In my view, it should have been extended for 10 years. I understand a five-year option was offered, which was not taken up. There were subsequent court cases, which I was rather saddened to see the dragway people lose, in both the Supreme Court and the federal court.

Get your facts right, people, in relation to the dragway. I note that Minister Corbell and indeed you, Mr Speaker, were very vociferous in 2001—and before then—in trying to ensure that a new dragway was built. A promise was made at that time and another promise was made by the current government in 2004. I was very concerned to see comments made by Mr Corbell which seemed to indicate that, even if a number of recent reports were okay, there were still all these amazing hoops for the dragway to overcome.


MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.30): As we all know, 5 December was celebrated as a day to thank all volunteers throughout the world for their wonderful contribution to our wellbeing. We celebrated our ACT volunteers in particular on that day. As I have said previously in this place, the ACT leads the nation on that. Forty-two per cent of the population volunteer and take part in a myriad of activities across a wide range of disciplines such as sport and recreation, health, community services, environment, heritage, science and technology, and the arts. Canberrans regularly volunteer their time to assist families, neighbours, their community, the sport they love or the natural and built environments.

I know Mrs Dunne is going to criticise me for once again talking about volunteering. We all arrive in this place with particular expertise and passions, and my passion is volunteering. That is not surprising, really, given the long history of my contribution to volunteering in the ACT, in Australia and internationally. Mrs Dunne claims to know just as much about volunteering and volunteer staff management as I do. From her last attempt to address the subject, I would dispute that.

Mrs Dunne’s passion as an area of expertise appears to be garbage. I must say that, over the past 13 months, I have heard her talk a lot about that. I am impressed that one could work oneself up so much about what amounts to a load of old rubbish. Nonetheless, Mrs Dunne has shown herself to be quite outstanding in her knowledge in the area of waste and its disposal. Do not worry, Mrs Dunne, I am not about to tread on your obvious passions. I prefer it to be you who talks rubbish rather than me. All I ask is that you pay me the respect of recognising a person’s undoubted expertise.

I go back to the subject of volunteers and volunteering. The ACT government encourages people to contribute to the community in which they live, whether to gain work experience, maintain skills, establish friendships, develop new skills, practise their English language skills or get a reference for future paid employment. Volunteering gets

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