Page 1306 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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Mr Coe: Give Jeremy the credit, Andrew.

MR BARR: Mr Speaker, I will resist Mr Doszpot’s childish interjections in relation to private schools.

Mr Doszpot: Mr Barr, it wasn’t me. It wasn’t me.


MR BARR: Regardless, it is important of course to consider this issue—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Continue, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is important to consider this issue in the context of what also would represent value for taxpayers’ dollars; in fact, the costs associated with even maintaining operations at the Deakin site in the short term, even to get just 10 more weeks in that appalling facility, appallingly maintained by Mr Turco, who has a clear social and moral obligation to meet his requirements under the territory plan—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: Mr Turco is the owner of the pool. Let me repeat this: Mr Turco, as the owner of the pool, has a very clear moral obligation and an obligation to all of the users and to Deakin Swimming Ltd, to whom he has leased operation of his facility. He has a clear obligation to upgrade that facility. He has a clear obligation to do that. If he does not and the pool closes, the government will be able to pursue fully a legal response. He will be in breach of the territory plan and he will be in breach of his lease obligations. And that is when the government can intervene.

It would not be appropriate for the government to put any—I repeat: any—money into propping up Mr Turco, and that is where the money would go; it will all go to Mr Turco—not to Deakin Swimming but to Mr Turco—and, if anyone in this place thinks that rewarding his poor behaviour by tipping in government money is an appropriate response, let them say so loudly and clearly.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, given that Deakin Swimming Ltd are not for profit and that kids learning to swim is vitally important, and given the efforts that parents have to make to get their kids to a swimming pool to learn to swim, could not the government do more to try to keep this important inner south facility available? I appreciate that there are spaces in other places, but people have to get there.

MR BARR: Thank you. Mr Speaker, I am yet to hear a proposal to keep the facility open that does not involve in the short term the expenditure of $125,000 to buy 10 weeks. All that will do is pay Mr Turco for 10 weeks to keep Deakin Swimming Ltd from being insolvent. Ten more weeks is what the $125,000 will buy you.

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