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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1107 ..

We will be investing in the home of football in Throsby and the Stromlo Leisure Centre in Molonglo, a fantastic epicentre for recreation at Stromlo Forest Park. We have already progressed new tennis facilities in Gungahlin, a new home for dragon boating, major upgrades to the Phillip enclosed oval, upgrades to netball, and much more.

These commitments are significant. We know that as our community grows, our city expands and the needs of our sports evolve, we have the highest participation rate in the country. That has increased, particularly this year. All our sports communities are saying that they have had a real increase in the number of people who are wanting to sign up to participate in a whole range of different sports across our community, particularly women’s sports. We know we need to work with them and continue with that investment.

Going to climate change, through all the projects I have mentioned, we need to understand how we develop and upgrade sports facilities better. That includes how we reimagine participation in our landscape, with extreme heat, smoke and storms, which will be increasingly prevalent.

Despite being an active community, the ACT, like other jurisdictions, has large sections of the population that are under-represented in sports. The government will continue to look for opportunities to increase participation across this community. Opportunities to participate in sport and recreation are important for community wellbeing and connectedness. The government will support this by continuing to work with the sector, investing in facilities and breaking down barriers.

I again thank Mr Davis for bringing on this motion today. I look forward to continuing to work with our sport and recreation sector to ensure that every child, every family and every person gets to participate in the sport that they choose.

MR DAVIS (Brindabella) (4.16), in reply: I put in a concerted effort to bring a motion to the floor of this Assembly that I was convinced, perhaps in my naivety, would be completely uncontroversial and universally supported. But heaven forbid we find an opportunity not to be in opposition!

Mr Milligan, you are the right man to be the opposition spokesperson for sports and rec. You must be a keen gymnast, given your presentation. You started by saying “I don’t understand it; I don’t know why we are doing it” and went to pretty much reaffirming a lot of the points I made in my motion before reluctantly being dragged to accepting it and supporting it. No-one is holding your hand up for the vote, Mr Milligan—you are free to vote any way you like—but I will take an affirmative vote for today’s motion as an acknowledgement by the Canberra Liberals that we do need a facilities management plan; that sport and recreation, and all sporting groups, deserve a seat at the table when government is making a decision over facilities; that they need a peak body to best represent their interests; and that sport is great. I will take support of my motion to indicate exactly that.

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