Page 3747 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015
Equally, I must stress that the initial proposal put to the government by the NCA on what footprint within Commonwealth Park we could use would have seen the event significantly shrunk anyway. So the starting point for this entire engagement with the NCA has, from the ACT government’s perspective, been unsatisfactory in terms of what they put to us initially. We have put back alternative proposals to continue the event in Commonwealth Park, and that would be our preference.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Minister, what discussions have you had with the commonwealth government about renewing the lease for Floriade?
MR BARR: I have had a number of conversations, the most recent being in the fruit and veg section of Dickson Woolworths just last weekend with Malcolm Snow when we ran into each other doing the weekly shop. Canberra is a small place; you do run into people quite regularly. I have spoken with the chair and a number of board members of the National Capital Authority in relation to this matter. I have had extensive briefings with officials within the events area of ACT government, and I will continue to advocate for Floriade to remain in Commonwealth Park, but I do respect and understand the issues that the NCA have raised. We will see what we can do to address their concerns. But, ultimately, it is not our land; it is theirs. If there is a very strong view—and I believe there is—that the event cannot only be refreshed but also remain in Commonwealth Park, then that is exactly what the government will seek to achieve out of this next round of negotiations with the National Capital Authority.
MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for transport reform. I refer to an opinion piece of 29 September in the Canberra Times in which you refer to Canberra going on a “car diet”. You further stated:
… going on a road diet is challenging. As one of Australia’s most car dominated capitals, we face constant pressure to build and upgrade roads.
Minister, is it part of your ministerial responsibilities to put Canberra on a “car diet” by delaying the building and upgrading of roads?
MR RATTENBURY: That was an opinion piece, and that is exactly what it is—my opinion on things. I was voicing a view and trying use an analogy to make the case about the fact that everything must be done in moderation. If I remember the full details of the opinion piece, I started by talking about chocolate cake and saying that chocolate cake is a great thing, and if you eat it in moderation it is not too bad for you, but if you eat too much of it, it is not good for you. That is exactly the point I was making about road construction: if we do too much of it, it is not good for a city. That is the point that I was trying to make.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.