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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1563 ..

The organisers expected crowd numbers of perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 people; I am told that 7,000 to 8,000 people attended the festival. It was a terrific success for Canberra and a great success for Sam Macauley.

Motorcycling festival

Cotter Road caretaker’s cottage

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (6.17): I am glad Mr Gentleman mentioned Bike-Fest at the weekend; it was an excellent turnout and a really good demonstration of the positive benefits of motorcycling. Finally, I am able to announce that I am going to take the Stay Upright course in June. I have done it once before, but did not pass; I was too ambitious in trying to do it all in one haul.

MR SPEAKER: Have you fallen off yet?

MRS BURKE: I did once, yes—but only on the course, not on the road. They have not let me loose on that bike yet, Mr Speaker, but I am going to get there.

Seriously, I want to congratulate the Macauley family and Robbo’s motorcycles at Fyshwick, particularly Sam Macauley. It was his first venture; and his wife and he pulled this thing together magnificently. I agree with Mr Gentleman that the turnout was more than expected. Congratulations to them. We need more of those sorts of things in Canberra, so that we can really put the positive sides of motorcycling and make people more aware that it is a great sport and is good for the environment—all those positive things that often people do not think about.

I want to talk about a more serious matter this evening. It has to do with a couple that I have come to know over the last few months, Peter and Jenni Farrell. They are currently residing at the caretaker’s cottage on the Cotter Road. Many of you may know the caretaker’s cottage at the old sewerage works at Weston Creek.

The cottage is 82 years old. It has a lot of history in its own regard, but it especially has had a lot of history since 1982 when the Farrell family moved in. Mr Speaker, you may recall some of the things around that. I know that the Trades and Labour Council were involved at many stages. In the 26 years that the Farrells have been there, there have been many attempts by the Farrell family to secure a lease or a proper tenancy with successive governments—I have to say, without success. Most recently, I was rather disappointed to hear the planning minister, Mr Barr, referring to them as being illegally squatting in that property. I would refute that. It is a really disingenuous remark to make; at worst, it is a lie because—

MR SPEAKER: You will have to withdraw that.

Mr Stanhope: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MRS BURKE: I withdraw that.

Mr Stanhope: That is the second time today, Mr Speaker. It is a disgrace.

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