Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1104 ..
Let us for a moment consider what would happen if indeed Mr Rattenbury’s vision is realised and our clubs transition very quickly completely away from gaming. Let us all consider what happens to our grassroots sporting groups when the gaming is gone and, all of a sudden, that massive community injection is also gone.
As we ponder the re-establishment of a sports body to replace the one that was taken away by the CLAG in the last decade, it is worthwhile for us to ponder whether this government, this cash-strapped government, will have either the will or the financial means to stump up the missing funding if indeed Mr Rattenbury is successful.
Let us also consider that the territory would be further cash-strapped in that we would have lost the tax revenue from gaming. Additionally, what about the support services that we would be compelled to provide to ACT problem gamblers, who would undoubtedly travel to Queanbeyan and then return home here to the ACT? We as a territory will no longer have access to the money provided by clubs for this.
I think that we should, as an Assembly, be very careful about what we wish for.
MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (4.05): Madam Speaker, I would like to make a few remarks about community sports facilities in my electorate of Murrumbidgee.
As many people who have attended a Woden Community Council meeting would know, I am a big fan of multi-use indoor sports courts. With the loss of the former Southern Cross Club basketball courts in Woden, as well as the CIT sports hall, there has been increasing pressure on school sports halls and other small community halls.
For activities that need a larger space or a higher roof—badminton, for instance—there is often nothing in the Woden area that can be booked by a small volunteer-run community group, so people are forced to book sports courts further afield, for example in Tuggeranong, Belconnen or even Queanbeyan. I have not even started on the need for facilities in Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley.
I love Tuggeranong; some of my favourite people live there. And I do not mind a bit of travel for my favourite sports. But having sports and recreation facilities close to where people live has benefits beyond just physical fitness. Research shows that shared sports and recreation facilities that can be accessed easily by small informal groups help to build social connection. When two groups who do not normally engage with each other are sharing the same physical space, it is a great way to literally find common ground and get to know each other’s experience and interests. It builds empathy and connections across our community, instead of each of us only interacting with our already established separate groups.
I loved sharing indoor sports courts with fencing, gymnastics, badminton, basketball and skating before the Woden indoor basketball courts were demolished. But it is not just indoor sports that I am into. The ACT government’s recently announced upgrades to the Phillip enclosed oval will enable more games for multiple football clubs,