Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 March 2009) . . Page.. 1307 ..
Waiting 10 weeks will not leave any time to solve the issue, which is Mr Turco’s significant underinvestment in his asset. Ten weeks will not buy you anything. It will not buy you anything other than putting $125,000 into Mr Turco’s pocket, because that is where the money is going, Mr Speaker.
Mr Smyth: So punish the children.
MR BARR: The government is not about punishing the children. The government is about ensuring that there are alternative venues, and that is what we have secured. That is the important thing here. For those opposite to attempt to interject would seem to indicate that they would prefer to side with a developer who runs down his asset and then suggest that the taxpayers should step in to prop up Mr Turco when we all know what Mr Turco’s objective is here. We all know what it is. And if those opposite want to help him to achieve his ultimate goal, let me make it very clear that the government will not—I repeat: will not—put any money towards Mr Turco’s facility. It is his responsibility and his responsibility alone. If and when he is in breach of his lease or the territory plan, the government will pursue vigorously all legal action—
Mr Smyth: When?
MR BARR: When he is in breach of his lease.
Mr Doszpot: Is it currently compliant?
MR BARR: No, he is currently not in breach of his lease because the pool is operating. Whilst ever the pool is operating, he is complying with his lease and the territory plan. Only when the pool is closed will Mr Turco be in breach of his lease. That is the point at which the government can intervene, and that is when the government will intervene.
I repeat that for those opposite to suggest for one moment that the government would hand over money to Mr Turco given his behaviour and what has happened on that site is the most appalling public policy suggestion I have heard in this place in some time. It is appalling.
But is there something we do not know, Mr Speaker? Is there is something we do not know about with the relationship between the Liberal Party and Mr Turco? Is there something that they would like to declare at this point? Maybe we need to go through all the electoral returns and see whether there is anything. That would appear to be the only explanation as to why those opposite are suggesting that the appropriate policy response from government is to hand over wads of cash to Mr Turco. That is an outrageous suggestion.
What the government can and will do is source alternative venues and alternative places. The real victims in all of this are the users of that facility and Deakin Swimming Ltd, who have done an outstanding job over the five years they have been operating the facility on behalf of Mr Turco trying to get him to invest in it. They have been trying and investing a lot of their own time and money. They are not at