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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 743 ..

organisations as at 2018 now at 40 per cent, with only 24 per cent now having less than 30 per cent female representation.

Our commitment to equality in sport extends even further: we have also dedicated funding and scholarships to reward and encourage elite sportswomen; we are building female friendly sporting infrastructure; and we are creating online environments to bring women and girls together to create sporting communities, which I expect other colleagues might emphasise today. In short, our eyes are open to the importance of the role of sport and recreation in fostering healthy and happy communities.

We are determined to change attitudes towards women and girls in sport and we are building on the groundswell of community interest and action to achieve this. Through these grants and these other initiatives we will continue to encourage the sporting world to welcome women and girls into the fold at all levels of play and governance for the benefit of all.

MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (3.51): I am thrilled today to have been provided the opportunity to speak about an issue close to my heart—that is, the importance of sports grants for supporting women’s and girls’ sports in Canberra. Some of you may know a little bit about my background prior to entering politics: I was a business owner, a family man and an active member of the community. I have taken a keen interest in numerous community groups and initiatives. But at the heart of who I am is an avid sportsperson, and I firmly believe that sport is the glue that binds and holds a community together.

Sport provide opportunities for socialisation, network building and, of course, it has physical and mental health benefits. It provides a solid foundation for communities and helps to bring people together. But, most of all, it can be a lot of fun. No matter what your sporting interest is, how elite, talented or passionate you are, there should always be a place for you to participate in sport. This may be through traditional organised sport at a local club or sporting association, or through a loosely organised group or activity that maximises the many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors here in the nation’s capital.

I am extremely passionate about providing local grassroots sport with the required level of support to foster opportunities to benefit members of our community. I am passionate about ensuring equal opportunity for both girls and boys to access sporting opportunities. What I am talking about here does not necessarily equate to financial resources. One of the many areas where I have seen this government fail is the lack of investment in infrastructure and facilities for sporting clubs and recreation across Canberra.

During my childhood I was lucky enough to grow up in a very active, country community. Everyone was involved in some level of sport or recreation—girls, boys, men and women. Sport really was at the heart of the community, sports such as tennis, cricket, football, and other interest groups and hobbies such as local theatre, craft, fishing and camping, or organised groups such as guides, scouts and, of course, the CWA.

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