Page 2996 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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I also want to thank our hardworking public servants. You are the best in the country, and your work every day helps make our city a better place to live. As a collective, you are delivering for a city that is the envy of Australia and the world. Thank you. I commend the budget to the Assembly.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (5.44): I want to reinforce my concern that the ACT is falling behind in the provision of sporting and recreation facilities because the current government lacks the resolve to meet the expanding needs of the growing population and the demand for additional facilities to cater for changing lifestyles and choices.

Residents and visitors love the bush capital theme and the lifestyle opportunities of a mid-sized city, and take pride in living in the nation’s capital. However, the sporting and recreation facilities are ageing and are not adequate to respond to the changing demands of users, as well as those seeking to participate in new sports and activities. Too many clubs are reporting their inability to match demand via new teams or suitable access to courts, ovals, gymnasiums and halls.

Despite constant calls for new indoor sports venues, particularly in growth areas, the government seems to be adopting the approach that the new refurbished school gyms or halls can provide the answers. I can assure you that they do not. The inadequacies are enormous. They include time restraints, being available only outside school hours, access and booking issues, and the suitability of individual school facilities.

Many facilities are developed and offered without proper consultation with the sporting groups or associations to discuss what their requirements are for court markings, essential infrastructure, such as poles and nets, and the need to schedule events for competitions that offer a different array of standards and age groups.

Starting with my first area of concern, there is a desperate need for a dive pool. This facility has been considered for several years but it was not included in the original construction of the Stromlo Leisure Centre. Now we hear that they may be looking at another feasibility study to consider a dive pool at this location. I would like to know the extent of the proposed feasibility study to determine the parameters for a new dive pool at the Stromlo complex. I would also like to know about the extent of consultations that have already taken place with key interest groups and the other groups that are interested in a dive pool. I sincerely hope that the prolonged delay in sorting out this new facility, if it actually eventuates, will result in an international standard, multipurpose pool suitable for a range of sporting activities, including not only diving but also water polo.

The next issue is the ice rink complex development. This proposal has been underway for several years, and it is time that the government indicated when the details of the confirmed site will be released. It is also appropriate that the government should indicate whether the facility will be a joint venture with external parties and sporting groups, the details of who will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the facility, and the time frame for when the budget allocations will be made.

I am also frustrated by the ongoing merry-go-round about the provision of new indoor sports facilities. There is growing evidence of the need for more indoor sports facilities in Canberra that cater for both population growth and increased interest in

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