Page 3385 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 14 November 2007

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closely but let us keep an open mind and ensure that the society are not disadvantaged. But let us not rule out that there may be other ways that can be looked at. Maybe more accommodation can be created for the society, which I think is doing very good work and is a very nice feature of Canberra. This relatively modern city has too little in the heritage area to show to visitors to the city. I would like to see more promotion through Australian Capital Tourism of the work of the society. When you get that many volunteers doing such good work for the city and not being paid for it, we owe them a great debt of gratitude. I am pleased to support Mr Gentleman’s motion. The opposition will be pleased to back it.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.28): I am pleased that all members have been impressed by the society’s work. As I expressed in my speech, it is important to recognise that work and the heritage in a public way. I have a little bit more information about the society. TransACT won an international film award for their show about locomotive 1210, which I referred to earlier. That particular engine hauled the first train, a mixed goods train, into Canberra on 25 May 1914.

Other things that occur and which I did not talk about are the school holiday trains to Bungendore. They are booked solid and are very popular. Also, the society carries somewhere near 10,000 passengers each year, and the number is increasing, especially on the local tours. So I am very pleased that we have made the debate about the society more public. Hopefully, that will encourage more visitors to the museum and more patronage of their trains.

In regard to Dr Foskey’s amendment to the motion, my idea was to ensure the future of the society. The motion also reinforces government support for the society. Dr Foskey’s amendment, whilst well meaning, removes those references to support and financial assistance contained in my motion. So I will not be supporting Dr Foskey’s amendment.

In regard to some of the comments that the Chief Minister made, he said there would be a lot of consultation on the future of the Railway Historical Society and the Kingston foreshore area, especially looking at the railway master plan and future planning for that area, and that all possible options are being considered. I am very pleased that he said a 10-year lease would be in operation for the society. That will give them some surety for the near future.

I hope this debate brings more recognition to the society and its work. Personally, I am looking forward to many more rail trips to and from Canberra with the society and their volunteers. I would like to thank members for their contributions and I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Amendment negatived.

Motion agreed to.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Ms MacDonald) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

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