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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23396

Mr NAIRN (9:05 PM) —I want to talk about two issues tonight. First of all, I want to mention that on Saturday I attended the Adaminaby races in my electorate. It is Adaminaby's one race day of the year, and it is always a great day. Some people might remember the final scene from the movie Phar Lap, where he was running in Mexico. That scene was actually filmed at the Adaminaby racecourse in the early 1980s. At that time there was a horrendous drought down that way and the place really looked like Mexico. I do not think there was one piece of grass to be seen in the region, which was part of the reason that site was chosen for the film.

The Adaminaby Cup is held each November. It is a great day. The whole community from right around the Monaro end up in Adaminaby. I attended it with the Prime Minister a couple of years ago, when a special race day was held for the 50th anniversary of the Snowy scheme. Saturday was another great day. Jim Madden, President of the Adaminaby Jockey Club, and his committee are to be congratulated on a wonderful event; they really put on a great day. The track looked terrific.

They had a lot of sponsors, and I want to acknowledge some of those sponsors because they really keep these sorts of race meetings going. These race days are part of our culture in rural and regional Australia. Sponsors included Old Bolaro, Rod J. Barnett and Associates, Cooma Motor Engineers, Selwyn Snowfields, Hazeldean, Elders (Cooma), Bill Wilkinson Agencies, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, John and Linda Hopkins, Cooma Rural Supplies, John Mooney and Co., Boyce Chartered Accountants, Gordon Litchfield Wool, Laurie Norton, Boller and Co. Real Estate and Southern Service Centre. As well as those, we had some associated sponsors. They included Nungar Knots, the Cooma-Monaro Express and the Summit Sun, the Adaminaby Bowling and Sports Club, South East Printing Pty Ltd, Reynella Kosciusko Rides and Adaminaby Country Inn Motel. All those people enabled a great day. Anglers Arms, trained by Joe Cleary from Queanbeyan, won the cup. I backed it—so that was pretty good. I was pleased with that result. I also want to mention Ian Sharman, one of the committee members of the Adaminaby Jockey Club. He has done a huge amount of work over many years on the committee, as have all the committee members. I mention Ian this time because he and his wife Darrelyn might be moving up to Warren Entsch country in the not-too-distant future. It depends on a couple of things, but certainly it looks like they will be going up there. They have done a great job over a number of years. So it was another great day for the Adaminaby Cup.

The other issue I want to raise briefly tonight is LPG excise. We know that in the budget earlier this year it was announced that there would be similar treatment of fuels with respect to excise. That will bring LPG into an excise regime, and there are still some decisions to be made about what that should be. I have had quite a number of representations on this issue, as you would expect—particularly from interested parties like Elgas, Martin Wright from Bega and Don Killen from Cooma. Many individuals have also made submissions. A couple whom I have recently written to are Mr David Wait of Pambula and Mr Doug Cromery of Wamboin. Both of them are concerned about the potential price of LPG with an excise treatment. I know it is a matter that the government is looking very closely at. There have been various representations made.

The member for Dunkley has spoken and done a lot of work on this issue. We want some fair treatment, but the difficulty in rural areas is the price. Currently the increase in the price of LPG in many parts of my electorate has been quite substantial. A product that is in the 30c bracket in the cities is up to anything like 50c or 60c in parts of my electorate—almost double the price. Whereas the differential in petrol might be 5c to 10c, on an 80c to 90c price, we have a 20c to 30c difference on a product that is 30c or so in the city. That is a concern. We do not have any public transport in many of these areas and we therefore rely on cars and cheap fuel. (Time expired)