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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2944

Senator REID(10.44) —I just wonder whether the Department of Local Government and Administrative Services can tell us--

Senator Grimes —I thought you had to go home.

Senator REID —I do. I just wonder whether the Department can tell us what has been done about selling the Anzac Rifle Range, what advertising there has been, what offers have been made and what stage it is at. I raise again the point I raised the other night as to whether there is any possibility of the sale of the range, if it must proceed, being deferred to allow the Bicentennial full bore rifle event in 1988 taking place. I can see no reason why the Commonwealth Government should persist with the sale so as to preclude that event taking place in 1988. The sale is in the hands of the Department of Local Government and Administrative Services. I know that it is not that Department's decision that the rifle range be sold, but I wonder whether there is any answer to the question that was raised under another item as to whether the sale could be deferred or handled in such a way as to enable the event to take place.

Those involved in planning the event have spent a considerable amount of money. A lot more planning needs to be done. It is not good enough for them to find out in about December 1987 or January 1988 that the event will or will not be able to go ahead. They need to know now so that they can cut their losses and cancel this prestigious event. Already about 400 people have registered to participate. The rifle clubs expect teams to come from about 16 countries. The tourist potential alone is significant. It is an important event for the Bicentenary. Why can the sale not be postponed to enable it to take place and so that the rifle clubs can be told now that the range will be available and that they can go ahead with their planning?