Page 1459 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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Mr Barr: Because I wasn’t going to pour $6 million of taxpayers’ money into Turco’s pool.

MR SMYTH: The minister says, “I just said no.” Well, what did you offer in return? What did he offer in return, Mr Speaker? What did he say? Where is the assessment of the future need? Where is the assessment of the spread of pools that makes them accessible? Where is the forethought into the future so that we can say, “If those pools go under, what are we going to do?”

What we will see is the transfer of privately owned, publicly available pools back to the government because of this minister’s inactivity and his failure to direct his department, his failure to stand up to ACTPLA and say: “Well, go and do something. I am giving you a direction. I want a strategy. I want to know exactly what we can do. I want some forward planning to see what we can achieve, to see how we can help these people”.

The minister speaks about helping the Brumbies. We helped the Brumbies. Governments have helped the Brumbies. Previous governments have helped the Cannons. They are privately owned organisations, but, no, you cannot help this privately owned facility. That is quite curious. Do not think of it as helping the facility but as helping the 1,100 kids that are tied up in this swim club—maybe a bit of lateral thinking here: “I’ve got two portfolios. I could get my sport and rec people to work with the ACTPLA people so that we can develop something better for the future.” But, no, the minister is afraid to act. The minister is afraid to direct his department to stop being so rigid, to stop being so focused on just development applications and to actually get ahead of the game.

We know that the Big Splash at Jamison are considering what they will do with their facility. We know the owners of the pool at Phillip. We have now got trouble at Oasis. What will happen to Kaleen or any of the other privately owned, public-accessible pools because of what this minister fails to do? Mr Speaker, I think you are entirely right: what we have is an ambulance driver for a sport and rec minister and for an ACTPLA minister, planning minister. He is happy to pick up the pieces later because he does not have the foresight, the wherewithal or the drive to make something happen now so that we do not get to the situation where these facilities fall over.

Have no doubt, members: this is not about sport and rec. This is about a planning minister who will not do what he is meant to do to ensure that planning benefits the people of the ACT, in this case through the provision and the maintenance of adequate sports facilities so that young people can go to the pool and learn to swim.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. The discussion is concluded.

Unit Titles Amendment Act 2008 (No 2)

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.41): I ask leave of the Assembly to make a statement

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