Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1102 ..
will only reveal the same issues; that is, the lack of facilities. These facilities are not close to home, working families suffer time and financial constraints, and there is a lack of practical government support.
In nearby Queanbeyan, families are able to access many state-of-the-art facilities. They can walk to their local oval or send their kids to play indoor sports. Here we have poorly maintained ovals, many left in ruin or without basic facilities like change rooms or toilets, and facilities for female participation are rare. We have waiting lists for indoor sports because of a shortage of venues. We have no sport vouchers or assistance for hardworking families. Worst of all, we have no long-term plan and no vision.
While the Canberra Liberals will support this motion today, it is with reluctance. A new peak body has potential as a concept, but we are cautious about how it will operate under this Labor-Greens government. We believe more investment in sport and recreation—in both activities and facilities—and a long-term plan, are essential. In fact, that is why the Canberra Liberals developed, in 2019, “Find your game”. I am glad that this Labor-Greens government is taking a leaf out of the Canberra Liberals booklet and, if they need any further assistance, I am happy to sit down with them. Any investment in sport and recreation provides greater outcomes for our community. I notice that in this motion we are missing the important area of recreation.
The Canberra Liberals were out listening to the community. We spoke to all of the organisations. We spoke to the new major participation sports organisation. We developed the Canberra Liberals plan, “Find your game”. As I said the Canberra Liberals are more than happy to work with this Labor-Greens government to deliver what should have been delivered many years ago. They have been in power now for 20 years, and we still see a lack of facilities and a lack of investment in sports right across this territory.
Seriously, something needs to be done in this space. I am just concerned that it may take longer to get anything happening here. At the end of the day, it will be the mums, dads and kids out there that are participating in sport and recreation that miss out.
DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (3.59): I wish to thank Mr Davis for bringing this motion to the Assembly. I concur with all of the points that Mr Davis raised in his motion, including that sport and active recreation are essential to an individual’s sense of physical and mental health and wellbeing, and that participation should be accessible to all ACT community members. These are very important matters to me.
Our local sporting groups and clubs, together with a large number of volunteers, are vital to the viability and accessibility of sport and physical recreation opportunities for all members of our community. I thank everyone who donates considerable time each year across many disparate aspects of sport and recreation.
In my local electorate of Murrumbidgee, I have engaged with many local sporting groups and organisations over the last few months. I have heard from these groups and individuals about their passion for, and commitment to, the sports and recreational activities which they are part of.