Page 3464 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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We also have quite a number of previous election commitments about mountain biking out at Stromlo. We have some from ACT Labor and some from the ACT Greens, because both of our parties really value this sport. We understand that it is great for health, it is great for wellbeing, it is great for community connection, it is great for spending time with the family, and it is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. We have both made quite a lot of commitments.

The combined commitments total $1.9 million. We have $700,000 for new trails and trail maintenance and $1.2 million for a flow trail. We have a 2021 best of Canberra mountain bike strategy, which gives us a bit of information about how to spend that money. It is good to see, in Minister Steel’s amendment, that we are likely to have a bit more strategic direction about how to spend that money. It would be good for government to make sure that we follow through on those election commitments and that we actually allocate and spend that money.

Mountain biking can be such a great tourism draw for the ACT. I have gone through some of the numbers that show how much tourism it could bring, in terms of visitor numbers and dollar investment. A lot of people who have been working in this sport and have been living this sport for a long time have noted that it is probably not living up to its potential. We have made a great start out at Stromlo, but a lot of people are feeling that we have been outshone by the millions being spent in competing destinations, like Derby and other facilities in the region.

I am pleased to see that we may get an updated Stromlo Forest master plan as part of this motion. It will be good to have some clearer investment, and some reconfirmed commitment on timing for that investment is good. It would be good to have a single point of contact for people in the community so that they can find out what is happening, put forward their suggestion and get their question answered. It looks like we will get some clearer coordination across the different portfolios, which will be good to see.

I would like to thank Minister Steel and Minister Gentleman for working collaboratively on this motion. It is definitely a field in which we have a lot of buy-in, and we have made such a good start here in Canberra, so it will be good to see us follow through and really support mountain biking in Canberra.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (4.16): I am very pleased to speak on Ms Clay’s motion today. The ACT government recognises the popularity of Stromlo Forest Park as a premier sporting facility here in the ACT and has been steadily investing in its future. In 2016 an updated master plan for Stromlo was endorsed and released by the government. This master plan identified the future needs of the park—what challenges it would face in the future and development opportunities as Stromlo Forest Park grows.

The government undertook a consultative period on the master plan and an update through 2015 and 2016. It is continuing to deliver on the commitments made under the plan, as expressed by the community, including the construction of the Stromlo leisure centre, the planning of the Molonglo district playing fields, the extension of the criterium track, and, importantly, the car park and village green for future events.

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