Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2929 ..
MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (11.10): Wow! Isn’t it wonderful to have the opportunity to discuss all clubs in the ACT for once! I am, and have been, a member of many clubs across the ACT and am very supportive of their strong engagement with the community, be that in the form of providing sporting fields, grants to community groups or the many other good works done by them. The sense of community fostered by many of our multicultural clubs is a real strength of Canberra, as was on display during the recent World Cup finals. Of course, another of the great contributions of clubs in Canberra is their support for advocacy and political groups.
I would like to congratulate Clubs ACT, the Liberal Party and Mr Parton on their campaign about community contributions. I try to single out who did what but it is hard to tell. And they seem like one great continuous organisation to me. Their efforts, both in the volume of their shouting and the few people doing it, remind me of their 2016 election campaign. Yes, if what they were accusing the government of was true, there would be good cause for concern in the community. But in reality all that they have done is give me the opportunity to highlight Mr Ramsay’s good work.
I have really enjoyed the experience of being able to sit with the community groups, large and small, and discuss ways we can make the community contributions scheme stronger. It is supposed to do just that. I have got complete confidence that Mr Ramsay will deliver just that, and the only people who will be upset will be those who have either been fiddling the books or who have been spinning the process of review a bit too hard to the community. That is why I am voting for Mr Ramsay’s amendment today.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (11.13): I wish that I could say I am shocked to be standing here today defending community contributions but we are, after all, up against a Labor-Greens government that is hell-bent on punishing those in the community who speak out against them.
Certain clubs, like the Ainslie Group, the Southern Cross Club, the Raiders and the Vikings, just to name a few, had the courage to have an opinion at the last election. They spoke out about issues that make operating a club in Canberra more difficult than anywhere else in the country. In 2016 these clubs expressed a view, and ever since the Labor-Greens government has been determined to punish them.
The culture of fear in the ACT is very real. If those on the other side of this chamber believe that this is not the case, they are kidding themselves. We hear all the time of public servants, businesspeople and community leaders all with clear, strong views about the harm this government is causing, but almost none is willing to speak out. Why? Consequences, retribution and punishment are dealt out by this government. Here we are today seeing that play out with community clubs.
What upsets me most, what angers me more than the grudge this government holds against community clubs, is the flow-on effect that this will have on local sport and recreation. Community clubs provide a critical lifeline to local sports and recreation in Canberra. They support grassroots groups through financial support, free room hire, raffle prizes and equipment assistance. This is not to mention the various sporting