Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2785 ..
take a much more proactive approach. Rather than just leaving the problem and hoping it will go away, we need to get on the front foot. I note that in 2008 the minister said he was happy to consider any requests for funding in the context of the next budget. We have had two budgets since then and still we have not seen this issue dealt with.
With regard to the recreational management plan, unfortunately I have also become aware that there is to be no funding for a recreational management plan for our parks and reserves. This is a real shame, because we know that there are competing uses for our parks and we absolutely do not want to see clashes between community members who are looking to use our parks for recreational purposes such as horse riding and trail biking.
We have already seen this year elevated levels of concern with the large-scale orienteering event that was held in Namadgi at Easter and concerns that the impact of the event on the park may be detrimental. It would not have cost the government much to have run a consultation with user groups to move forward on this sooner rather than later and we really think that the government needs to get moving on this.
In conclusion, I understand that there are many competing priorities in a budget and that in all portfolios there will be a case made for expenditure that the government chose this year not to fund. But I believe strongly that we must advocate for our natural environment, because it is repeatedly missing out, because it is so important for this city and because it cannot advocate for itself and is so easily forgotten. I hope that the visual created by the Chief Minister of Canberrans donating gold coins to help out with the funding of our parks is not the funding vision we will have to rely on, because in the end our parks deserve more, much more.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (8.01): The Canberra Liberals will not be supporting this unreliable, unbelievable, anti-family and distinctly poorly prioritised budget. Leading up to the budget announcement and estimates, the sports and recreation portfolio had a seemingly schizophrenic personality. On the one hand, community sports groups were alerting the government to an acute shortage in community sports fields and the subsequent impacts of that on many Canberrans’ ability to participate.
This was no marginal community group dissatisfaction lashing out at the minister. On the contrary, according to the Canberra Times, this was the sentiment of clubs from sports associations such as football, AFL, rugby union, rugby league, hockey, basketball, tennis, and volleyball representing approximately 95,000 Canberrans. What they were highlighting made perfect, intuitive sense. Community sports facilities are running at capacity and are being stretched to meet demand.
This had several implications. Firstly, an increase in demand will lead to an increase in the cost of participation. Secondly, with limited facilities and increased costs, this will result in a decrease in community sports participation and will ultimately impact on social and physical health within our communities.
On the other hand, the minister’s response was typical. Communicating through photo ops and media releases, the message and intent was clear: $8.65 million for several