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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 June 1995) . . Page.. 1091 ..


MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the particular case he is referring to. My understanding is that it is possible for people to get billed for ambulance services. There are arrangements, as I understand it, for people in particular categories of need - for example, health care card holders - not to be billed for their ambulance service. I thought the question you asked me was about who actually paid for ambulance services. The answer is: Apart from the taxpayer, those who contribute to health insurance funds. It is possible that people who have had to use ambulances have been billed for such services. That is a longstanding arrangement, as I understand it. If people are not able to afford to pay, if they fall within certain categories of need, it is possible, I think, for those fees to be waived. I will check. I will get a detailed answer to Mr Moore's question and advise him precisely what the arrangements are for payment of ambulance bills. It is my understanding that, if I use an ambulance and I do not belong to a health insurance fund, I have to pay for the use of that ambulance.

Racism in Sport

MR KAINE: I address a question to our sporting Minister, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, can you tell the Assembly what the Government is doing to eliminate racism from sport in the ACT, to make sure that we do not have any examples of the kind of thing that we have seen in other States recently?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank Mr Kaine for the question. Sadly, recently there was an incident, not in the ACT but in a nearby New South Wales town in a competition governed by the ACT, over which I am taking action. Apart from that, and perhaps one or two incidents I am aware of over the years, being a participant in sport in Canberra, thankfully we have been very free of racism in sport here. Having participated actively for about 30 years, I can recall only one incident personally of racism in sport. That was in the 1960s in a football match in which I was playing and it involved a Chinese winger we had. Thankfully, we have been very free of it; but it does occur, and it has occurred recently close to the ACT.

Mr Speaker, there has been a considerable amount of comment about racism in sport in recent weeks. In particular, racism in the Australian Football League and comments by Commonwealth Games officials have been prominent in the media. This Government is concerned about and opposed to any form of racism in sport. We strongly support moves by the Australian Sports Commission to instigate education programs among sporting organisations. It is hoped that these programs, aimed initially at national sporting organisations, will filter down to all levels of sports and result in the eradication of racism as an issue in sport.

As I have indicated, I am aware of recent incidents involving an ACT junior Aboriginal team. When I became aware of those incidents I immediately wrote to the ACT peak body of that sport, which I will not mention in fairness to that sport, indicating my grave concerns about those unacceptable racist incidents. Because the incident happened in New South Wales in a competition governed by the ACT, I also notified the New South Wales Minister for Sport and Recreation about it. The sport concerned,


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