Page 4327 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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Omit all words after paragraph 1(b), substitute:

“(c) $10 million from the Commonwealth’s Regional Development Fund was announced in August to accommodate regional sports infrastructure and health programs within the UC Sports Commons; and

(d) the Commonwealth Government has said that it will not honour Regional Development Fund commitments made by the former Government where the contractual arrangements have not been finalised; and

(2) supports the UC Sports Commons and continues to lobby the Federal Government to fund this project.”.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (4.44): I signal agreement with the amendment. It reflects perhaps a slight difference of view between the former and current federal governments as to what was contained within the 2013-14 federal budget. But my understanding from the former government was that an allocation was made and that the parliament has appropriated funds for the purpose of this round of the regional development fund. The question of the individual contract for this proposal not being signed off, means, unfortunately, it was not allocated to the individual project, but the overall global allocation for RDAF was provided for in the budget.

Mr Hanson: I don’t think it was. The parliament didn’t sit.


MR BARR: The parliament passed the budget. The budget contained an allocation for—

Mr Hanson: No, not for this.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, I warn you.

MR BARR: So the issue largely relates to a position that, as Mr Doszpot indicated in his contribution, somehow allocations made here were pork-barrelling. I think Dr Bourke was right in saying by interjection that if the seat of Fraser is considered a marginal constituency worthy of pork-barrelling he would be greatly surprised, and I would be greatly surprised if the ACT Senate contest was somehow seen as being swayed on the basis of this project. I think it is a very worthy project and one that deserves support of the Assembly. The amendment, such as it provides comfort and allows for that support, is worthy of support this afternoon.

The interesting question will be what the opposition does. Are they prepared to put the interests of the city first and interests of this project and the University of Canberra ahead of partisan political pointscoring in this place this afternoon. We await with interest.

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