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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4904 ..

A successful campaign will mean millions of dollars for our economy, an invaluable addition to the cultural and sporting lives of our city, a professional team for younger players to strive towards being a part of and to look up to and additional promotion of our great city around Australia. The business development manager of the ACT Southern News South Wales region for the AFL, Garry Buchanan, also deserves to be commended. He and David Pembroke from the contentgroup and the rest of the team in Canberra have fought tirelessly to make this a reality, and I welcome him here today.

Furthermore, I would like to put on the record my thanks to the GWS chairman, Tony Shepherd, and the CEO, Dale Holmes. Dale has spent a lot of time in Canberra over the recent months promoting the team and the ACT presence. Of course, the team GWS head coach, Kevin Sheedy, has played an integral role in promoting the game around Australia for decades. We in the territory have been privileged to have his presence and his promotion of the GWS team in Canberra and the region over recent months.

Most of the people I mentioned were at the announcement of a memorandum of understanding between GWS and the University of Canberra on 9 September. This is a great partnership and is signed by Dale Holmes and the vice-chancellor, Professor Stephen Parker, based around sharing resources and facilities and putting the experience and expertise of both parties to common use. Such collaborations between professional sporting teams and universities are growing in number across the world and represent a great opportunity to benefit all concerned.

The University of Canberra sports studies professor, Keith Lyons said:

The partnership between the University and GWS is a great opportunity to support an exciting venture for sport in the capital region. Both partners have made big commitment to community development.

Finally, I ask the ACT government to assess what they can do to remove barriers and to support what promises to be a great boom for the territory. What the club needs is certainty. The ACT government must be clear about what they can and will do to help make the GWS presence in Canberra a reality. We cannot have year-by-year negotiation when we are looking for a long-term commitment from GWS. We need a government and a minister who is decisive and committed to do all that is reasonable for this campaign.

I know that the minister is, of course, a supporter of AFL, and he probably needs very little convincing of this importance. I support ACT 4 GWS. What I have briefly described today is a well coordinated campaign of football lovers, community-minded people, business, education institutions and governments who are keen to bring about a team in the AFL that Canberrans can take ownership off. In their words, it’s our team.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (4.09): It is no secret to anybody in the Assembly that I am a massive AFL fan—except for the blind, deaf and stupid, and you can put

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