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Tourism subsidies a real drag: Australia Institute

By Ari - 9 August 2006 25

Leftish think tank, the Australia Institute, has weighed into the dragway debate in today’s CT.

A couple of relevant quotes:

ACT taxpayers have good reason to ask why these types of subsidies are being offered to projects like the dragway when the evidence shows that they are likely to provide no net benefit to the community. This is particularly the case in the ACT where the Government is desperately searching for ways to balance its budget. The answer appears to be that governments are afraid of standing up to the influential tourism lobby.


Public money spent on the dragway is money that can’t be spent on schools and hospitals. If people want a dragway, that is fine – just don’t expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab for it.

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25 Responses to
Tourism subsidies a real drag: Australia Institute
seepi 5:27 pm 09 Aug 06

Letter to the Chronicle, AUG 8 2006, Trevor Brogan.
“I am teh lessee of Block 51, Majura Road, on which teh proposed dragway is to be developed. Please let me clarify a few pooints to Mr Allen.
Not many people are actually aware that our farm is to be resumed so that a minority of draway supposters can indulge in their sporting interest. To take a beautiful habitat which incfldes many varieties of fauna, some that are endagered, and see it destroyed is heartbreaking.
For it to be taken by force and gfiven to a minority organisation which will cause major devastation to the environment is unjust and truoly devastating.
Our farm has been part of our family’s history for many years. How would you feel if your home was taken from you? Not a very appealling propect one would think. Seems a bit unfair wouldn’t you say?
Even if in the unlikely even that a dragway is not developed it has been a stressful year to say the least. Not knowing if the ACT government will take my home and livelihood away has meant I am unable to make of implement any plans.
Mr Alen’s statements regarding our neighbours being 3.2 km away really shows how ill informed he is. The nearest is a mere 400 metres and the others within a 1km radius. This doesn’t include the public that use the Ainslie reserve for recreational activities who will be affected. Trainign on a daily baisis and the scheduled racing events will cause unbearable noise conditions for residents in Pialligo, Hackett and Watson.

seepi 4:02 pm 09 Aug 06

Unfortunately the only way a dragway can be built in Canberra is via Government intervention, as only they have the power to kick people off their land, in order to build the dragway on it. Likewise only the government has the power to rewrite local noise laws to make the noise generated by the dragway legal.
There was a very interesting letter to this week’s Chronicle by the current owner of the dragway site. If I get time I’ll type it out.

Thumper 3:52 pm 09 Aug 06

Possum good, cat bad.

I like it.

I want a possum, and a quoll….

Absent Diane 3:20 pm 09 Aug 06

you could hear the racing in kwinana clearly in pinjarra when I lived there.

S4anta 3:12 pm 09 Aug 06

My sleep used to broken by neighbourhood cats. Then a possum took up residence in my yard. all i get now are lumps of skin and cat fur skattered about. its quite good.

Big Al 2:45 pm 09 Aug 06

A can report that it works a treat S4anta – we had one of these dit-bags parking their car up behind our place in the wee hours of the morning – stereo blaring. I poked the old slug gun through a gap in the fence and I was just cocking it for the fourth time when he pissed off – that was months ago and not an interrupted nights sleep since.

S4anta 2:36 pm 09 Aug 06

I just want to take pot-shots at the hoons Tusken Raider style.

VYBerlinaV8 2:23 pm 09 Aug 06

I just want one.

Growling Ferret 2:01 pm 09 Aug 06

I’m a supporter of the concept of a dragway in Canberra to replace the community built facility that was screwed by various levels of Government, but its window of opportunity may be coming to an end. On the east coast, you already have Western Sydney International Dragway (WSID) – an absolutely first class $40mil strip, Willowbank in Queensland, and it looks like a new $40mil facility is being planned for Victoria. With Kwinana in WA, this leaves 4 top level dragways – and there isn’t the money in the sport in Australia to keep 5 or 6 top level places going. When you have street drags an hour up the road at Wakefield Park, and WSID 3 hours away, is there still the need for one in Canberra?

As any motorsport competitor knows, a 6 hour return trip is a small travel time for top level competition…

Thumper 12:54 pm 09 Aug 06

A lefty watermelon scumbag?

That quote has got to go straight to the pool room!

S4anta 12:51 pm 09 Aug 06

I wonder how many cucumber sandwiches and glasses of chardy this rubbish cost.

Big Al 12:49 pm 09 Aug 06

Having said that … now let me say this – it should be a fundamental responsibility of government to actively try and be as small as possible and to interfere in peoples live and the market as little as possible. If market forces dictate the necessity of a dragway then capital will be raised and lo we will have a dragway. Arguing that having a dragway will generate income because people will come here and spend is weak and any “build it and they will come” business plan would have to be treated with extreme caution. Such a financial spin off is an added bonus, but shouldn’t be viewed as a driver for investment.

To that end I couldn’t help agreeing with the point that Government spending on tourism is a subsidy that other business are excluded from.

…oh and just for the record – I still hold the view that Clive Hamilton is a lefty watermelon scumbag.

Big Al 12:41 pm 09 Aug 06

The argument that money spent on a dragway could be spent elsewhere is pretty lame – after all if people want good hospitals/education/sports fields etc, that’s fine just dont expect the Government to pay for it.

Ralph 12:09 pm 09 Aug 06

Australia Institute is irrelevant. Another bunch of screeching lefties……

Ari 11:50 am 09 Aug 06

I suspect the dragway’s not the best thing to hang the argument off since I reckon the hoon vote, rather than tourist industry special pleading, influenced Stanhope’s decision.

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