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These initiatives that I have outlined today will make an excellent start to implementing commitments made prior to the election. These are commitments which will assist a large proportion of the community directly by providing opportunities to participate in activities which promote a healthy, active lifestyle. They will also assist in increasing the economic benefits that sport provides to the Territory via events-related tourism. I reiterate that studies show that at least one-third of people who visit Canberra come here for sports-related reasons. I present the following paper:
Sport and recreation - Government support - Ministerial statement, 30 May 1995.
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
MR KAINE (4.21): Mr Speaker, this is an important statement. There is no question that I support what the Government is attempting to do. There is much development in sport in Canberra yet to be carried out. We have gone a long way over recent years in developing our sporting prowess. We are represented nationally. A very high percentage of our population participates in sport in one way or another.
I was disappointed in one respect when I read this paper. It mentions all the imported brands of football but makes no reference whatsoever to the only Australian brand of football, that is, Australian rules. There are many people who have been working very hard over many years to advance Australian rules in the Territory. Much of that effort in recent years has been directed towards having an Australian Football League team in Canberra and participating in the AFL competition. The most recent example of their work, of course, was the game here only last Saturday between the West Coast Eagles and Fitzroy - the first Australian Football League competition game ever played in the ACT. It is a milestone in the movement towards getting a permanent team established here.
Governments over the decades have put a great deal of money into, for example, bringing the Raiders here from Queanbeyan and establishing them at Bruce. A great deal of public money was committed to that, and I do not regret a cent of that expenditure. It has been a great investment of public money to support teams like the Raiders and to generate interest in soccer, rugby union and other sports; but I believe that the ACT will be well served the day that we get an ACTAFL team here.
I had hoped that in a comprehensive statement of the Government's intentions - this is a forward looking document - there would be some statement at least supporting, even if not financially at this stage, the efforts that have been made and continue to be made by a lot of people to get an AFL team here. I support what the Government is proposing to do across a wide range of sporting activities, but that is one omission. I am sure that people like Ron Cahill and all of those hardworking supporters of ACTAFL, who have