Page 65 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 December 2008

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MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, if budgets are “guessing”, what confidence can we have in any future budgets prepared by you?

MS GALLAGHER: I doubt that you will, being the opposition, but I can honestly tell you I will do my best, I will work hard, and I will take the advice of the Treasury. I probably won’t use the word “guessing” again, now that you have drawn it to my attention. I hadn’t really noticed it before, and I look forward to working with all my colleagues as we go through the next couple of years. They will be difficult, and I look forward to working with my colleagues, including you, Mr Smyth.


MS HUNTER: My question is to the Chief Minister. Will the Chief Minister take some responsibility for addressing antisocial, violent and unacceptable behaviour towards women at Summernats? What specific measures will the government implement to address this unacceptable behaviour?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. It is a question that has been occupying quite a bit of media space over the last few days, and quite rightly. It is an issue that has occupied the thinking and the minds of the government on a number of occasions, most particularly over this last year. In the course of this year I have met with the Summernats organiser, Mr Chic Henry, and his management team. The Deputy Chief Minister has similarly met with Mr Henry and his management team. In both of those meetings both the Deputy Chief Minister and I raised very directly with Mr Henry, in the context of Summernats, our concerns, individually as ministers and the concerns that the government has, about what quite clearly are some unacceptable aspects of a culture that has developed around Summernats.

Mr Speaker, the government has always been supportive of Summernats. I believe it to be a significant and important event. I believe it is an event that provides enormous joy and entertainment to a very large number of Canberrans and others. It has a significant economic impact on and benefit to the territory. It is something that I personally have always strongly supported, and I continue to do so. But it is not acceptable for women to be confronted in the way that they have been confronted at Summernats and for women to be intimidated and degraded. Both I and the Deputy Chief Minister have raised with Mr Henry the need for him, in his organisation of Summernats, to address issues around a culture that has led to some of the behaviours that we all know exist at Summernats.

Mr Henry has been very open in his discussions with me about his determination to seek to deal with those issues. This is a private, commercial event. It is an event that the government has provided some support to. I have indicated to Mr Henry that the capacity for the government and for me personally to continue to provide the level of support we have, both financially and moral, cannot be maintained if he does not take those steps that are in his power to take to deal with some of the issues.

Mr Henry, to his great credit, has given assurances that he will seek to address these issues in relation to the security that is available and that he will take steps to seek to

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