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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 2995..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

ovals to go in 2003, when the government ill-advisedly stopped watering them, even though it was pointed out by experts that you can still sensibly water ovals when we have stage 3 restrictions. There are quite a few other ovals that have been let go. I do not think Spence oval has existed for some time.

It is of real concern to see that some of the ovals around Kippax have gone—good district ovals where thousands of kids play and many senior teams train and play. It is of concern to see an area of Canberra that I love looking rather tacky. Just in recent times I have been talking to constituents who are concerned about bins being taken out of parks and residents being told that the parks will not be mown as much.

On a good note—and I congratulate the urban services minister on this; he is quick to respond to various problems I point out—I am pleased to see footpaths being marked for improvement. One in particular on which I made representations to him a couple of weeks ago between Charnwood and Dunlop has been promptly attended to. I think that, if the government can keep attending to those matters which are so important to people, that will be a good step in the right direction.

Belconnen has a wide range of great facilities. Being someone who does not mind the odd drink occasionally, I like frequenting some of the licensed establishments there, ranging from the Kippax Tavern to Moby Dick's in Kippax and, of course, the Magpies club.

I think one of the great secrets of Belconnen is the West Belconnen Leagues Club. You can be in the clubhouse there and watch excellent games of rugby league, and occasionally other sports as well, only metres away on the field. That is a great facility for the area. I know that you, Mr Speaker, have always been a great advocate of that particular facility and have done a lot to try to equip it. When you go to other facilities such as the Western Districts Rugby Club—there are two soccer clubs there—one can see on that side the spirit of community.

Ms Porter mentioned the West Belconnen medical committee. She has done a lot of work on that, as have all members who are in this chamber now from Ginninderra. I have been to a few meetings, as has my colleague Mrs Dunne. That is a great innovation, as is the "charny carny". My children have gone to that because they are at one of the relevant schools. I have worked on the sausage sizzles there. I missed one, unfortunately, because of a wedding. That was a pretty good excuse—my stepdaughter getting married in Wollongong—but I have been to others. They are great events to engender a sense of community. I think the more we can do that the better. And the more we can do that throughout Canberra the better off we will be as a community.

Belconnen has produced some magnificent football teams. Whilst I hate to say it in a way, although my stepson and my youngest son have played in juniors with the Western Districts Rugby Club, I remember them more for getting my head kicked in, being rucked and things like that in the 1970s when I was playing rules and union. They were very strong, but not so much in the 1980s. We managed to get revenge and won a few grand finals against them, including some of the blokes I played against in 1974 and 1975. What a magnificent club. It won all five senior grades last year, repeating it this year. It is a credit to the area as, indeed, is the Belconnen Soccer Club. They were


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