I will use my time today to talk about plans to deliver a motorsport facility for Adelaide at Gillman. The state Liberals support such a facility as we think it will be of great benefit to the community.
Adelaide Motorplex is a private consortium that has been working on a proposal for the past two years to develop a $25 million multicode motorsport complex at Gillman near Port Adelaide, down at the extension of Hanson Road. The land is owned by the LMC and is an unused parcel of land containing a stormwater retention area, protected flora and a small area of wetlands.
South Australia and Victoria are the only states that do not have such a facility. Calls have intensified in recent months for a motorsport complex to be developed that provides for the various codes of the sport. The Adelaide Motorplex consortium is not seeking any government funding; rather, it wishes to purchase or lease land at commercial rates. It has met with ministers Wright and Foley and the federal member for Port Adelaide, Mark Butler, who all expressed interest in the project. However, the government’s enthusiasm has waned following an horrific crash on Magill Road which the media and the then road safety minister (Tom Koutsantonis) tried to link to the legitimate sport of drag racing.
The national body for drag racing, the Australian National Drag Racing Association Incorporated (ANDRA) is very enthusiastic about the Adelaide Motorplex proposal and, in particular, the prospect of using such a complex as an off-street drag racing venue, allowing young amateur drivers to race in a safe and controlled environment. The merits of this as a road safety measure would have to be explored further but certainly the interstate experience has indicated a positive impact on reducing illegal street racing.
The other codes of motorsport would also be stakeholders in such a facility. Examples include motorbikes, jet boats (given that currency Creek is closed at present), go-karts and circuit racing. The proposal being put forward also outlines an adjacent industrial park to foster related cluster industries such as the automotive history, much like Blacktown in Sydney. The apprenticeship opportunities and flow-on economic benefits would also be explored and the consortium is including this in their business case.
Teen Challenge has also expressed an interest in working with the Adelaide Motorplex in developing youth mentoring programs for troubled and disadvantaged youth. Overall, the whole concept is an exciting one.
I was sent to Perth recently by Liberal leader Isobel Redmond to visit the Perth Motorplex at Kwinana, upon which the New South Wales facility is modelled. It is a magnificent facility and could be used as a model for the Adelaide Motorplex. Adelaide has shown itself to be a motorsport mad town, as evidenced by the enormous success of the Clipsal 500 but the city has lacked a trade racing venue since 2000, when the venue near Virginia ceased operating.
ANDRA has spruiked the economic and tourism benefits that such a complex could bring to Adelaide and South Australia, with events in Sydney and Brisbane attracting up to 30,000 spectators.
Last Sunday I represented the state Liberals on the steps of Parliament House at the Adelaide Motorplex public rally which attracted over 1,000 people. The amount of effort these people have put in to demonstrate how much they believe in their cause is to be commended. The state Liberals are big supporters of motorsport and I remind honourable members that the Clipsal 500 was an initiative of the formal Liberal government. The turnout of supporters on Sunday was outstanding, and this rally demonstrated how much these people want a motorsport facility in Adelaide.
During the rally, I addressed the crowd and assured them that the state Liberals support their cause. The Hon. Rob Brokenshire also joined me at this rally, and he spoke with some passion about the need for such a facility. I announced to the crowd that a state Liberal government would make available the land required for lease or purchase for a multi-code motorsport complex. The announcement was warmly welcomed, and it was pleasing to be able to deliver that message.
The Rann government is unfairly playing politics by stating that facilities such as this would encourage further hoon driving. Something needs to be done about safety on our roads, and the fact that the government is not willing to back a facility that will give young drivers a place to race off our streets in a controlled environment is disappointing to say the least.
Why should we miss out on the facilities other states enjoy, and why should we be left behind?
A Liberal government would certainly assist a project that would host racing off the streets in a controlled environment while educating young drivers and creating jobs in the local community.