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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 18 March 2010) . . Page.. 1160 ..

From an event that began in 1988 with 47,000 people, it has gone from strength to strength. These days the figure is closer to 80,000 people, nearly 80 per cent of whom come from interstate. Needless to say, Summernats represents a significant contribution to the ACT economy, with net contributions estimated at over $3 million. This is an event that I think should continue. In 2005, 119,000 people went through the gates of the festival, which was a record.

Summernats 23 was held from 7 to 10 January 2010. I was pleased to be able to attend on the Friday, as I did Summernats 22 last year. It was great to walk around and see families enjoying the festival and to observe the results of so much effort in bringing the vehicles up to an extremely high standard.

Of course, synonymous with Canberra and with Summernats is the founder and champion of the festival, Chic Henry. Chic loves Canberra. He has been a tireless advocate for the city and for keeping the festival in the national capital. I commend him for all that he does in Canberra. I would also like to congratulate the new owner of Summernats, Andy Lopez, on a very successful first year of the job. I also congratulate the staff and volunteers who make it all possible.

Some of the awards that are on offer at Summernats each year include the airbrush art competition, the kids awards, the elite awards, the show and shine standouts, the club awards, street awards and many others. I would also like to acknowledge the many sponsors which make Summernats the success it is and make it all possible. The major sponsor for Summernats 23 was the Street Machine magazine. The supporting sponsor was Rare Spares. The gold sponsors were Jack Daniel’s and Australian Capital Tourism. The silver sponsors were Barlens, Pedders, Coca-Cola Bottlers, Shannon’s and Southern Cross Ten. The bronze sponsors were Coates, Fosters Group, Meguiar’s, Nolathane, Slingshot, Strathfield and Yella Terra. The associate sponsors were Anest Iwata, Capital Trophies and Sportswear, Creative Kids Beds, Canberra FM 104.7, Fuchs Lubricants, Hi-Powered Networking, Nita’s Snacks, Streets and Team Army.

The Canberra Liberals support motorsport and the rich motoring heritage we have in Canberra. Whether it is rallying, Summernats, drag racing, hill climbs and other forms of racing, Canberrans should be proud of the role our city has played in Australian motorsport.

The sport and the vocation has its challenges: the financial costs, the growing towns and cities encroaching on established circuits, bureaucracies, insurance and environmental issues are just some of them. However, none of these challenges are insurmountable. We as a parliament should be working with the motorsport community to work out how we can get the balance right so that we can see the continuation of motorsport in the ACT. I look forward to working with the motorsport communities, including the many clubs, which make Canberra a great place to live.

Merici college

St Michael’s primary school

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.43): I rise this evening just to talk about my visit with Mr Doszpot this morning to Merici college. Indeed, I did officiate at the launching of

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