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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4193 ..

In the 2017-18 budget the government increased its funding support for women’s sport and, most notably, this included establishing the four-year funding agreements with both the Canberra Capitals basketball team and the Canberra United women’s football team and entering a three-year agreement in support of GIANTS Netball, which is delivering community activation and an improved player pathway through the very successful Canberra GIANTS program.

These agreements are a major change in the way that the government approaches elite sport. They have given both teams greater certainty around planning, recruiting and player development, closer to that of our elite men’s teams, and they offer a means to securing better sponsorship deals. As well, they help grow the Caps’ and United’s presence in our community and their prominence for junior players.

The ACT government committed a further $1 million for programs which will work to encourage and empower women and girls at all levels of sport over the next four years: $500,000 for female-friendly sports infrastructure, $400,000 in incentive funding for sports to lead on gender equity and $100,000 for the female sport online hub at HerCanberra. We are also investing funds into grass roots programs aimed at supporting emerging female leaders, enhancing coaching opportunities and increasing participation, including $50,000 to work with a collective of sports to build a structured female education and leadership program.

We are also about half way to our goal of ACT sporting bodies having a minimum of 40 per cent female representation on their boards by 2020. Forty-six per cent are currently meeting this target, up from 29 per cent only 12 months ago.

Alongside this, the government has committed to and delivered a number of projects to lift the status of sports facilities in the ACT. Ms Lawder is right. We should learn from and share opportunities with other states and territories. Whilst some of the announcements or activities that the ACT government is involved in might have different names, there is a lot of similarity to what we are doing compared with what other state and territories are doing in this space.

Just last week I was happy to be joined by Ms Cody as I turned the first sod for the new Stromlo leisure centre, a $36.6 million facility located at Stromlo Forest Park that will one day service more than 100,000 people in Weston Creek, Woden and Molonglo. Bec Cody joined me again to officially open the $6.5 million Phillip Oval pavilion, of which the ACT government committed $4.6 million, an upgrade that makes Phillip Oval the second-tier oval for AFL and cricket after Manuka. The Phillip Oval precinct is a great example of collaboration between the ACT government and sporting bodies to achieve outcomes that benefit the sporting and broader Canberra communities.

Last year the ACT government officially opened the state-of-the-art FIFA-standard $6.6 million Melrose football precinct. Each of these examples offers more opportunities for participation and growth of women’s sport.

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