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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3175..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

local round-robin series of games with other northside clubs. Under-10 teams play in a non-competitive round-robin series of games with either other northside clubs or clubs across the ACT.

In the juniors, under-11 teams play in a non-competitive round-robin series with northside clubs and clubs across the ACT. Under-12 to under-18 teams play in competitions organised by the ACT Football Federation on an ACT-wide basis. In some divisions, this may involve travel to Yass, Goulburn or Cooma. They also have eight senior teams which play competitive games against clubs in Canberra. There is also the ladies masters, which made history by winning the grand final this year. The club has increased the focus on girls' participation, with specific development initiatives which have seen a higher girls participation rate and more girls-only teams. This structure ensures a focus on development in the younger ages without the pressure of competition, until sufficient development and maturity have occurred.

I congratulate the Gungahlin United Football Club on the fantastic organisation they have created. I look forward to seeing the club progress even more. I hope that the ACT government is able to meet the demands for ovals and other facilities that are crucial to the survival and future development of all sporting clubs in the ACT, and particularly in the young and growing area of Gungahlin.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.06): Today I want to speak about what I think is the appalling new policy imposed upon the ABC by its board, which I think most of us know has had a number of appointments which increased its right-wing bias. I have to wonder about a federal government that feels it is necessary to make such political appointments that, in a sense, are all about facilitating its way to winning an election next year because it wants to silence voices of criticism.

I am going to quote from an article by Margaret Simons, who is a critic that I respect, in Crikey today. It asks, "How will the ABC know whether its new editorial policies have been successful in combating bias?"It also asks, "How do we know what success will look like?"It continues:

Will it be when the ABC critics are quiet? Hell will freeze over first. Such people need enemies against which to define themselves, and they will continue to construct them whether or not they exist. The ABC, as Australia's most important cultural institution, will never escape. Managing Director Mark Scott acknowledged as much in his speech at the Sydney Institute last night.

So why on earth does he say that the mere fact that criticism exists is sufficient reason to hand the critics "a massive rod for our own backs. A weapon our critics can beat us with. More grounds for more questions in Senate estimates. A very high bar."

Apparently he wants to avoid answering questions in Senate estimates. The article continues:

Courage, rigor and fairness flourish in strong, responsible and self-confident


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