Page 958 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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What he did not touch on was that the same contractor had both contracts—one a loss-making enterprise and the other where some of that loss could be offset. But, by the actions that have been taken, both those opportunities are gone and there is no recompense to the contractor who bore the expense for such a long time.

What about the 70 staff, minister, who will just have to take two months off? What about their mortgages? What about the other issues that have to be taken into account? I will come to this in a minute. If it is just the retiling of the pool and the change room, why does the complete complex have to shut down? What about the gym? What about the workers? Why does the gym have to close if it is just the pool that needs new concourse tiling? Our information is that the work could have been better planned to avoid the entire shutdown of the facility. Again, it is an arbitrary decision by people who do not understand the world of commercial realities.

This indicates another doubt as to the competence of this government to manage a project like light rail and be able to sensibly assess commercial decisions in a logical and business-like manner. As I mentioned, there will be up to 70 employees out of work for two months. They presumably have mortgages, living costs and other expenses just like other ratepayers in our city.

How odd is it that today we have just passed legislation to modernise the management of our public pools but that the pools themselves are falling apart? I mentioned the ageing infrastructure. There are two other pools that are of similar significant age. When will we learn that they too are slated for short or longer term closure? I did not appreciate—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): Mr Doszpot, please address your remarks to the chair.

MR DOSZPOT: I was not addressing them to anyone in particular. I have not looked that way, but I take your point, Mr Assistant Speaker. When will we learn, Mr Assistant Speaker, that they too are slated for short or longer term closure? I did not appreciate just how decrepit our pools were. It is ironic that we have just updated the legislation to reflect modern realities. There is not much point in having modern legislation if our pools are falling apart.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Discussion of matter of public importance

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): Madam Speaker has received letters from Dr Bourke, Mr Doszpot, Ms Fitzharris, Mr Hanson, Ms Lawder, Ms Porter, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Ms Porter be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of growing the higher education sector in the ACT.

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