Eastern Creek Raceway Operations

About this Item
SpeakersHarrison The Hon Gabrielle; Downy Mr Christopher; Nagle Mr Peter; Merton Mr Wayne; Crittenden Mr Paul
BusinessConsideration of Urgent Motion, Division

Consideration of Urgent Motion

Ms HARRISON (Parramatta - Minister for Sport and Recreation) [3.37]: I move:
      That this House condemns the previous Government's waste of taxpayers' money on the Eastern Creek Motorcyle Raceway and supports the decision of the NSW Government to lease the facility to a commercial operator in order to better promote Motor Sport in this State.

Eastern Creek is a black hole from which New South Wales will never recover. They are not my words; they are those of the former Assistant Treasurer, Mr Phillip Smiles. Today this Government has said that the waste can go on no longer. My announcement that the raceway will be leased to a private contractor will help ease the burden that Eastern Creek has become on the taxpayers of New South Wales. Today's announcement by the Government will help put motor racing in New South Wales on a much better footing. A commercial operator is in a much
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better position to more effectively promote and run motor sport. Today's announcement will mean that organisations willing to run a commercial risk to organise motor sport will be able to do so.

It is inappropriate for the Government to try to run motor races, given the high financial risks involved in that sport. Rather than detracting from motor racing in New South Wales, today's decision gives the sport an opportunity to be placed on a much sounder footing. Let me review the record of the previous Government in relation to Eastern Creek. In 1989 Premier Greiner announced that the motor racing facilities would be built at Eastern Creek. The Government had entered into certain agreements to enable the Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix to be held at Eastern Creek instead of Phillip Island in Victoria. A consortium operating as Dovigo Pty Limited was formed to build a racing circuit, and the land was leased to Dovigo by the Department of Planning. Land was acquired by the Department of Planning. Dovigo then went broke and the Government bought out the business in September 1991 and resumed the management of the Eastern Creek facility.

Premier Greiner had promised that the facility would cost New South Wales taxpayers only $2 million. The former Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Deputy Leader of the National Party, promised in November 1991 that there would be no more taxpayer inducements to attract riders, organisers and race promoters to stage the race at Eastern Creek. Despite this assurance, on 2 December 1991, just two weeks later, the Government entered into a contract with Two-Wheel Promotions, TWP, whereby the Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix would be conducted at Eastern Creek from 1992 to 1996 inclusive, costing taxpayers another $17.5 million in rights and associated fees.

The contract with TWP provides for the payment of an annual rights fee to ensure the conduct of the grand prix at Eastern Creek. For 1996 the fee will be $3.9 million, the most generous fee offered by any city to the promoter. On top of that, TWP got 100 per cent of advertising revenue, 100 per cent of the revenue generated from the sale of the hospitality, 100 per cent of concessions and merchandising revenue, and is entitled to 100 per cent of ticket sales. The report of the Council on the Cost of Government found that the contract is biased strongly towards TWP.

Mr O'Farrell: Who wrote that?

Ms HARRISON: The honourable member will get to hear all about it. The Council on the Cost of Government has found the true cost of Eastern Creek and associated areas to be almost $135 million. I should like to highlight some of the costs found by the council: land acquisition amounted to $28.8 million, which is the cost of three high schools; roadworks came to $10.5 million, the cost of up to 200 teachers; water, sewerage and electricity were costed at $1.1 million, which would provide four sport and recreation camps; the cost of consultants amounted to $0.3 million, or six child-protection workers; legal and compensation costs came to $1.3 million, or almost 1,000 funded child-care places; the default on loan payment by Barfield came to $7.5 million, which would provide 200 nurses; the loan to Dovigo amounted to $2 million and the purchase of business for Dovigo was costed at $25.5 million, or the cost of a country hospital; debt-servicing costs amounted to $32 million, which would equate to 16 small police stations; rights, fees and homologation came to $17.5 million, about the cost of six primary schools; the recovery of operating losses, excluding debt servicing and depreciation, came to $2.5 million. The total cost of Eastern Creek and associated areas was $134.5 million.

Incredibly, after all of the money wasted bailing out the private operators and after the previous Government taking over the management of the raceway, things got even worse. In 1991-92 the raceway lost almost $500,000, but within four years, and under the direction of the honourable member for Sutherland, the raceway had managed to double its operating losses, and that did not include debt servicing or the cost of depreciation. Then the Liberal Government lost the grand prix. When the promoters of the World 500cc Motor Cycle Grand Prix wrote to say that they were going to Melbourne the honourable member for Sutherland said the State Government was to blame. He said that he had written to the promoters stating that he would be negotiating after the March State election. Unfortunately, the Premier of Victoria spilled the beans and said what had actually happened.

According to the Melbourne Age of 5 May 1995, Mr Kennett said that Victoria won the race "months and months and months ago." The article in the Melbourne Age went on to say, "Mr Kennett kept mum about their feat so as not to undermine the Liberal Party's chances of re-election at the New South Wales election." It was time to set the record straight. Next come the homologation problems at Eastern Creek for next year's grand prix. Such was the rush of the Greiner Government to build the track that this Labor Government has been forced to carry out urgent repairs in order to ensure the running and safety of the 500cc Australian Motor Cycle Grand Prix next year.

When I was first appointed Minister for Sport and Recreation I was informed that sections of the track were sinking. As a result, the Government will spend up to $1 million this year to ensure that the international standards required are met. Otherwise, New South Wales would have had to pay out $3.9 million in rights fees and would have been unable to run the race. Further, the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning has informed me that some of the conditions of consent for the original development have not been met, despite the passing of years. Now, with a new and competent management at Eastern Creek, these are finally being addressed.

There has been a management shake-up at
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Eastern Creek. Mr Ken Critchley, the Director of Administration at the Department of Sport and Recreation, has been appointed Acting General Manager of the Eastern Creek Raceway. A number of matters had been brought to my attention and I decided that they needed to be dealt with immediately. Mr Critchley will bring a tight financial control to Eastern Creek management. The financial performance of the raceway to say the least has been less than optimal and has proved to be an ongoing financial burden to the taxpayers of this State. The most damning report on Eastern Creek was that from Treasury in its March 1995 quarterly report, in which it was stated that the financial performance of Eastern Creek Raceway had been consistently poor. It was stated that the raceway had operated an accounting loss every year since it was brought under the control of the former Department of Sport, Recreation and Racing. The sorry saga of waste and mismanagement at Eastern Creek is finally coming to an end.

Mr DOWNY (Sutherland) [3.47]: It is timely for the House to have this debate on the Eastern Creek Raceway. Opposition members will talk about some of the issues raised by the Minister today. Before I do so, however, I should like to return briefly to a matter we were discussing at question time, because it is most important. The Minister's attitude towards Eastern Creek is typical of the way in which most Labor Party members treated Eastern Creek over the years. Of course, one has to remember that though the Premier, then Leader of the Opposition, instructed his members not to go anywhere near Eastern Creek certain Labor Party members disobeyed his instruction and were seen at the raceway quite regularly.

Mr Nagle: That's a lie.

Mr DOWNY: It is quite true; we saw them there. It is incredible that there is a clear similarity in the approach of the Minister for Sport and Recreation on this issue and the way in which her colleague the Minister for Health, when shadow minister for health, approached this State's health system. The Labor Party faux pas of 1994 was the hypocritical and inconsistent claim of the Minister for Health that New South Wales had the best health system in the world, after he had spent years criticising the health system. Now, in 1995, with a Labor Government, we have a demonstration of extraordinary inconsistency by the Minister for Sport and Recreation. Since the Minister has taken office all she has done has been to criticise the Eastern Creek Raceway and its administration. Frankly, the Minister stands condemned for the way she criticised the previous management of Eastern Creek, Mr John Stathers, one of the most respected sports administrators in this State. It is an absolute disgrace that Mr Stathers was used as a scapegoat because the Labor Party has a hate affair with Eastern Creek.

On 27 August the Minister went to Eastern Creek for the 12-hour production car race, at which she was asked to present a trophy. Only a handful of Labor members have been to Eastern Creek, but at least the Minister has been there. However, after damning Eastern Creek on the airwaves of Sydney, the Minister came out with the comment that, "Eastern Creek is one of the premier motor sport facilities in the world." The Minister spends all her time with the press criticising the facility, but when she thinks that no-one is listening she tells the motor sport fans that Eastern Creek is one of the premier motor sport facilities in the world. As evidence of her hypocrisy, she went on to congratulate the staff at Eastern Creek for their good work. What a disgrace! This afternoon she dared to criticise one of the most respected sporting administrators in this State. Plenty of people in the Department of Sport and Recreation are most embarrassed about what happened to Mr John Stathers.

I can take this matter a step further: once again the Labor Party is kicking its own in the teeth. It is kicking the people of western Sydney, the people who supported this Government in the 1995 election, first with the tolls decision and now with Eastern Creek. Labor Party supporters go to Eastern Creek all the time to support the motor racing events, yet the Minister said on radio the other day that nothing significant happens at Eastern Creek. She said that a only few rock concerts and a few little races were held there. In fact, super tourers, super bikes, V8 touring championships and other racing has been held at Eastern Creek, a community facility for the people of New South Wales.

The Labor Party has demonstrated its ignorance about the way sporting facilities operate in this State. If we were to apply the Minister's standards to every Government-owned sporting facility in New South Wales, they may as well all be leased; the Government should lease the Sydney International Aquatic Centre and the Sydney International Athletic Centre. These facilities were provided by $300 million of taxpayers' money, and if it were not for the $3.3 million injection of government money in 1992-93 the State Sports Centre would have made a bigger loss than that incurred at Eastern Creek. Since Eastern Creek was taken over by the Department of Sport and Recreation, not a cent of departmental money has been used to prop it up - it has had to pay its own way.

The 1992-93 annual report of the State Sports Centre indicated an operating surplus of $239,501, and that excluded depreciation of $1,665,156. It should be remembered that this operating surplus relied totally on the grant of $3.3 million, which was an asset acquisition grant. If the Minister and members opposite were fair dinkum - and they are not - they would apply the same standards to the State Sports Centre, the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Parramatta Stadium, the Sydney International Athletics Centre and the Sydney International Aquatic Centre, and flog them all off or at least lease them. Members opposite will not do that because Eastern Creek was a symbol of what was going right for motor sport in New South Wales. It was judged twice as the best motor racing circuit on the grand prix circuit. Nevertheless, Government members conveniently forget that. It is a pity that the honourable member for St Marys is not in the Chamber, because he is
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always at Eastern Creek. When he was the mayor of Blacktown he disagreed with his party's criticism of Eastern Creek. If the member were here, I am sure that he would be joining members on this side of the House in this debate defending Eastern Creek.

In straight accounting terms all Government-owned sporting facilities have an element of depreciation. As a result of the hiring charges and ticket prices at these facilities, they have little relevance to the real world. I recall debate on the management of the Sydney International Aquatic Centre when we were considering having private operators under a lease arrangement, but I decided not to lease the facility to private operators because it would have priced the aquatic centre out of the market. No-one would have been there, as the prices would have been too high. The Minister for Sport and Recreation has been in the job for only a few months - we really wish her every success - but if she thinks that many private operators will spring from the woodwork to take over Eastern Creek, and that she will still be able to offer the facility to the people of western Sydney and all members of local car clubs, she has another think coming. That is not the way it will work. The Eastern Creek Raceway provides community opportunities as a motor sport facility, just as the Sydney Cricket Ground, Parramatta Stadium - which I am sure the Minister has visited as it is in the heart of her electorate - and the Sydney International Aquatic Centre are community facilities.

Finally, let me examine the Council on the Cost of Government figures, which the Minister has never made available, although she claimed that she made them available in the Questions and Answers today. All we received in response to a freedom of information request for this information was a three-page executive summary, and this contained some dodgy figures to say the least. The $432,000 springs to mind, as this is attributed to the Olympic bid promotion, which had nothing to do with Eastern Creek. However, suddenly the figure appeared in the Council on the Cost of Government report. Who is the head of that council? It is Professor Bob Walker, the Labor Party hack extraordinaire. He is always trotted out when the Labor Party wants an economic guru to push its point of view. The council is a totally partisan organisation and has no objectivity. The Government stands condemned for its actions today.

Mr NAGLE (Auburn) [3.57]: For six years the Labor Party asked the former Government questions about Eastern Creek, but adequate answers were never received. The previous Government covered up the truth about Eastern Creek. Former Premier Greiner told this House in his famous words that Eastern Creek would cost about $2 million; how wrong he was. A former Liberal Party member, Philip Smiles, told us the truth of the matter as he said that Eastern Creek would be a black hole for the Government; it certainly was a black hole for him and the previous governments of Greiner and Fahey. It is a shame that the former governments did not tell the truth to the people of New South Wales because if they had, they would not have experienced so many difficulties. The former governments not only ignored the advice of the Labor Party, they also played on the claim that Eastern Creek would be up and running quickly and would not cost the people of New South Wales much.

An infamous letter was written by the Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith, who was the Minister for Sport and Recreation at the time of writing, in which he said, "There is no doubt that our decision to press ahead with Eastern Creek has been vindicated." It certainly has not been vindicated today! His letter continued - and this will haunt members opposite as they wait forever to return to government - "I looked for some of the Labor Party people to have a chat with them, but they were nowhere to be seen. I doubt if we will hear anymore from them in the future." I assure members that when the Hon. R. B. Rowland Smith attends functions, he will not be talking to people associated with Labor Party members of Parliament. It is a lie to say that Labor Party members do not attend Eastern Creek.

The former Government appears to be unable to deal with the issue of Eastern Creek. In 1991-92 the raceway lost almost $500,000. In four years under the management of the honourable member for Sutherland the raceway managed to double its operating losses, not including debt servicing or the costs of depreciation. That shows how good an administrator the honourable member is. Eastern Creek is an example of government mismanagement; it is a nightmare. The Labor Government will ensure that it is not stuck with the incompetence of the former Government's administration. The Government made it clear that it was not prepared to allow Eastern Creek to continue to drain the public purse. The money that went into Eastern Creek initially and thereafter on maintenance could have built the missing road link and there would not have been a need for a tollway to be imposed on the people of the west. In March 1995 Treasury in its quarterly report on the financial performance of the raceway reported:
      The financial performance of Eastern Creek Raceway has been consistently poor. The Raceway has operated at an accounting loss in every year since it was brought under the control of the then Department of Sport, Recreation and Racing. In 1993-94 Eastern Creek Raceway operated at a cash loss and this will continue in 1994-95.

That quote makes the former Minister for Sport and Recreation responsible for the fiasco of Eastern Creek. Treasury reported that the raceway was in financial distress and that there was an urgent need to assess its financial viability and future. That is the responsible approach taken by the present Minister for Sport and Recreation in dealing with this issue. This House will determine whether the raceway will drain the public purse. This does not concern people in National Party electorates, who got a lot of money out of the Greiner Government; but the former Government did not care less about the people of western Sydney. The Council on the Cost of Government report stated that the raceway had a debt of approximately $29 million and debt servicing costs
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alone were over $4 million per year. The report stated:
      . . . there is little likelihood of the Raceway ever generating enough profit to service the debt let alone for the Government to receive a return on its investment.

The former Government put its blinkers on and could not see the reality. My good friend the honourable member for Wagga Wagga is present so I do not want to mention HomeFund and the mess he left there. Eastern Creek is another mess left by the former Government. The Minister has announced a decision on the future of Eastern Creek and that is the way it will go because it will not drain the purse of the people of New South Wales. The Government has more concern for hospitals, education and rail and the matters that the people of New South Wales look to it to provide, not to throw away money on foolish enterprises entered into by the Liberal-National Party. [Time expired.]

Mr MERTON (Baulkham Hills) [4.02]: This debate is about the death knell of Eastern Creek. The Labor Party effectively put the nail in the coffin of Eastern Creek and wants to walk away from it, forget it ever existed. The idea of a recreation centre in that part of Sydney was not the dream of the Liberal-National Party Government; in fact it was a Labor Party dream. It was a dream that the former coalition Government turned into a reality. When the former Government opened the circuit it was boycotted by the Labor Party. The council boycotted the raceway for a short time but, after it realised that it brought so much money into the area, decided it was a good thing. The honourable member for St Marys, like me and other members, attended the circuit. It is an excellent facility and will continue to be an excellent facility. The price of $135 million claimed to be the cost is completely erroneous. That is not only the cost of the circuit but includes infrastructure, adjacent roads and development of land that is needed for the circuit. The real cost is about $50 million.

The Minister was asked a question upon notice: will she release the report from the Council on the Cost of Government to justify her claims regarding the costs of Eastern Creek? Her answer was: I released the report from the Council on the Cost of Government that specified the full cost of Eastern Creek and associated areas on Wednesday 7 June 1995. The next question: who did she release it to? It was leaked to journalists who might be regarded as sympathetic. The Opposition attempted to get a copy of the report and the answer from the Premier's Department was that those documents have been prepared for submission to Cabinet, and included documents brought into existence as part of the development, exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

In other words, what is the position? Did she release the document and, if so, to whom? If not, did she not release it because the Premier's Department and her master said it cannot be released? The reality is that no sporting facility, whether a local cricket pitch, a golf course, a bowling green, an Olympic stadium or whatever, can be expected to pay for itself. It is part of the hard core services that a government has a responsibility to provide. We are not talking about providing services for the silvertails. We are not talking about providing services for people of the upper north shore or eastern suburbs. We are talking about providing services for people who vote for the Labor Party.

The people of Badgerys Creek have been sold a lemon. The Minister, as the member for Parramatta, has sold her constituents a lemon. In her search to continue the existence of a government that was conceived in illegitimacy, she is again letting the people down. The Minister not only let them down on the tolls but is letting them down by taking away their beloved Eastern Creek. People have long memories, and quite rightly so. When she was interviewed the Minister commented: "I would like to say to our overseas viewers that Eastern Creek is one of the premier motor sport facilities in the world. It will be used in the Olympic Games in the year 2000 and will welcome you to Sydney in the year 2000 if not before." Well, it had better be before then because if she has her way Eastern Creek Raceway will not be there in the year 2000.

This motion is about destroying Eastern Creek. It is about destroying the dreams and aspirations of the people of western Sydney who find some comfort from their otherwise poor existence under a Federal Labor Government and now under a State Labor Government. It is a form of escapism that is being taken away from them. Quite clearly it is unrealistic to expect these facilities to pay for themselves overnight, otherwise there would be no Sydney Football Stadium, no State Sports Centre - and the Olympic facilities are in the same category. The motion should be dismissed on the basis that there is no substance in it. If there is any problem or any fault in the situation it is the fault of the Government which is prepared to turn its back on the people of western Sydney and betray the people's confidence when they voted it in by 47 per cent last March.

Mr Crittenden: It was 50 seats.

Mr MERTON: It was 47 per cent and the honourable member for Wyong is one of the illegitimate members of this Government. This is another example of its fraud and misrepresentation.

Mr CRITTENDEN (Wyong) [4.07]: Understandably, the Opposition is embarrassed by the predicament it is in today. Opposition members talk about sporting facilities being an essential aspect of State Government funding. Indeed they are, but today we are talking about honesty, integrity and probity in government. We simply did not get those qualities from the Opposition when in government and that is why it nearly lost the 1991 election. Eastern Creek played a big hand in making sure the Liberal-National Party lost in 1995. Why was Eastern Creek so important to the downfall of the former Government? In late 1989 in this Chamber, Mr Greiner told the people of New South Wales that the total financial exposure of the former Government in respect of Eastern Creek would be only $2 million. In an article in the Australian Financial Review of 2 February
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1990, quaintly titled, "NSW Govt is up Eastern Creek without a paddle", referring to Mr Greiner, it was stated:
      But last week he admitted that the Government had in fact given guarantees worth a potential $9 million as well as a cut rate loan of $20 million to the developers of the circuit.

I certainly hope Mr Greiner does better for the shareholders of Coles Myer with this Yannon business than he did with Eastern Creek and the taxpayers of New South Wales. After the 1995 election the Government discovered the truth: the exposure of the taxpayers of New South Wales to the Eastern Creek debt was $29 million. It was not $2 million; the Government had sent New South Wales taxpayers down the tube to the tune of $29 million. The Government has been reliably informed that the debt servicing costs in respect of that amount of $29 million is $4 million per annum. Is it any wonder that when honourable members opposite approach used car salesmen, the salesmen see them coming? Those opposite are taken for a ride at every turn. I do not know enough one-syllable words to explain it to honourable members opposite, so I will use an analogy. The purchase of Eastern Creek was similar to the purchase of a house with plumbing problems, electrical problems, termites - the lot! At every turn the purchaser of the house has to undertake electrical repairs, plumbing repairs and so forth.

The debt grows and the house purchaser continues to borrow money to pay for necessary repairs to the what has turned out to be a bogus investment. Finally, the purchaser gets to the stage where he has to say, "I cannot live in this house any more, I cannot keep on paying out money, I will simply have to rent it out." That is what the Government proposes to do. The Government has no problem with contracting out these facilities because that is clearly the only way it can take stock of the situation and get the investment on to a firm financial and commercial footing. That is what the taxpayers of New South Wales were promised in 1989. The former Government promised that it would run the show carefully and ensure that the people of New South Wales were not left exposed. However, we now know differently; we now know that New South Wales is liable for the massive amount of $29 million.

I understand that people make mistakes; after all, they are only human. Even after the election the honourable member for Gosford tried to convince the Government, which is financially prudent, to spend money on a garden festival at Mount Penang. The Opposition wanted the Government to simply keep on writing blank cheques, but that is not the way this Government conducts business; it does not take a blank-cheque approach to the provision of facilities. The Government prefers to fund core government services such as the provision of hospital beds, nurses, police, teachers and quality education. They are the crucial activities in which any State government should be involved. Most importantly of all, a State government should ensure that it provides good government.

Ms HARRISON (Parramatta - Minister for Sport and Recreation) [4.12], in reply: No wonder the honourable member for Sutherland gave such an impassioned speech! It was his management skills that were so horribly lacking in the administration of the Eastern Creek Raceway. He claimed that John Stathers was the most respected sports administrator in this State. The honourable member has also been quoted as saying that the general manager of Eastern Creek is one of the best public servants this State has ever had so far as sport is concerned. When current annual losses have been calculated with total debt-servicing costs, the rights, fees and depreciation amount to about $8.5 million. I will tell honourable members something about the management of the raceway. No work had been done at the raceway to ensure that it was effectively generating a positive revenue stream. For example, although more than 30 per cent of the expenditure was spent on advertising, promotion and marketing, the raceway did not have a marketing manager.

In an industry that is notoriously difficult to market in Sydney, that was a significant problem. The low level of sponsorships and test bookings are further examples of the problems resulting from the raceway not having a marketing manager. Recently, three Japanese teams chartered a 737 aircraft and flew to Melbourne to practise at Phillip Island, despite the two-hour drive from Melbourne and the poor facilities. That was the type of business that Eastern Creek should have been seeking to secure. In addition, the organisation lacked a corporate and business plan. The focus was on day-to-day operations rather than being targeted towards longer term goals. The difficulties at Eastern Creek, and uncertainty surrounding its future no doubt contributed to its lack of economic viability.

The honourable member for Sutherland also quoted me as saying on 27 August that the Eastern Creek Raceway was one of the premier motor sport facilities in the world. He said that I did it sneakily and when I thought no-one was watching. I was told just before I made that announcement that 80 million people were probably listening, as the announcement was broadcast to parts of Asia. I was extremely happy to say then that the Eastern Creek Raceway is a premier motor sport facility, and I was happy to congratulate the staff at Eastern Creek. I remain happy to do that, and I will do that at any time in the future. Criticism of the raceway is limited to its management and cost. I have never disputed the quality of the facility. At what cost is the honourable member for Sutherland willing to support the motor sport facility at Eastern Creek? Is it worth supporting at $2 million, $135 million, $200 million, or $500 million? Where does one draw the line? The Government has drawn the line here!

The honourable member for Sutherland has asked why the Government is involved in the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust or with any other trust. The role of the Government is to provide facilities; it is not the role of the Government to run the events. The football grand final at the Sydney Cricket Ground will
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not be run by the Government; the Government is providing the facility. It is exactly the same at Eastern Creek. The Government believes that its role is to provide the facility but not to run the events. It is unrealistic to expect that the Eastern Creek Raceway will pay for itself overnight. Eastern Creek will never be paid off unless something is done.

The Government has considered a number of options for Eastern Creek. It has considered commercialising the raceway, but the problems with that option include the Government remaining directly involved with a non-core business activity, that is, operating a motor sport venue. There is no guarantee that the raceway would operate at a profit but the Government would still need to fund capital improvements, and the Government would continue to assume all the risk. The Government also considered corporatising the raceway. The disadvantages of doing that were that there was no guarantee that the Government would operate at a profit; the Government would continue to assume all the risks; and the Government would need to ensure funding for the raceway in the short to medium term.

Other options considered by the Government included privatisation. The disadvantage of privatisation is that it would amount to a fire sale and the Government would recover only a small portion of the money invested in its development. The Government would lose the opportunity to realise the capital gain improvements in the long term, and the requirement for the raceway to be available as an Olympic Games site may have an adverse impact on attracting a suitable buyer. The Government has decided to lease out the property. The advantages of that are that the Government will not be required to outlay more funds on the raceway. The Government will face no financial risk, and should achieve some rate of return in the medium to long term. Most importantly - and the Opposition should take notice of this - the people of New South Wales will continue to have access to a high-standard motor sport facility. [Time expired.]

Question - That the motion be agreed to - put.

The House divided.
Ayes, 48

Ms Allan Mr Martin
Mr Amery Ms Meagher
Mr Anderson Mr Mills
Ms Andrews Ms Moore
Mr Aquilina Mr Moss
Mrs Beamer Mr Nagle
Mr Crittenden Mr Neilly
Mr Debus Ms Nori
Mr Face Mr E. T. Page
Mr Gaudry Mr Price
Mr Gibson Dr Refshauge
Mrs Grusovin Mr Rogan
Ms Hall Mr Rumble
Ms Harrison Mr Scully
Mr Hunter Mr Shedden
Mr Iemma Mr Stewart
Mr Knight Mr Sullivan
Mr Knowles Mr Tripodi
Mr Langton Mr Watkins
Mrs Lo Po' Mr Whelan
Mr Lynch Mr Yeadon
Mr McBride
Dr Macdonald Tellers,
Mr McManus Mr Beckroge
Mr Markham Mr Thompson
Noes, 44

Mr Armstrong Mr D. L. Page
Mr Blackmore Mr Peacocke
Mr Causley Mr Phillips
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Photios
Mr Cochran Mr Richardson
Mr Collins Mr Rixon
Mr Cruickshank Mr Rozzoli
Mr Debnam Mr Schipp
Mr Downy Mr Schultz
Mr Ellis Mrs Skinner
Mr Fahey Mr Slack-Smith
Ms Ficarra Mr Small
Mr Fraser Mr Smith
Mr Glachan Mr Souris
Mr Hartcher Mr Tink
Mr Humpherson Mr Turner
Dr Kernohan Mr West
Mr Kinross Mr Windsor
Mr Longley Mr Zammit
Ms Machin
Mr Merton Tellers,
Mr O'Doherty Mr Jeffery
Mr O'Farrell Mr Kerr

Mr Carr Mr Beck
Mr Clough Mr Chappell
Mr Harrison Mr Hazzard

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Motion agreed to.