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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1822 ..

Ministerial Statement

Debate resumed from 30 May 1995, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR OSBORNE (3.58): Mr Speaker, in his ministerial statement on government support for sport and recreation the Minister makes considerable mention of an increase in compulsory school sport and physical education. Since this statement was presented to this Assembly in May he has made several announcements about the introduction of various guidelines which will put his ideas into practice. I am in favour of change being made to our current system to achieve a greater level of health and fitness for our young people. I am, however, concerned that the Minister keeps in mind the balance needed between physical education and the other two parts of the school health syllabus as well, namely, health and personal development.

As the Minister will be well aware, the aim of the health syllabus is for our children to learn about health at more than just a physical and competitive level for the short period of their lives that they attend school. If one of these three areas is out of balance, as it has been in the past, the whole program, and consequently our children, will suffer. The Minister, I feel, will need to be careful that in his attempt to reverse an imbalance he does not create another one, so I am expecting a good result from the consultation the Minister is having and has had with the P and C councils and interested school groups. Since I am such a big fan of people playing sport and the Tuggeranong Valley has such a large number of children, I am particularly concerned that the Minister gets his balance right for the future.

Mr Speaker, in addition to the Canberra Raiders and the Kookaburras, we are indeed rich with an abundance of quality sporting teams who have achieved very well in a wide range of sports in national and regional competitions in recent years. Next year, too, we will see the addition of the Kookaburras in the new rugby union Super 12 competition and the possibility, although small, of an AFL team representing our city as well. I am a great supporter of teams from Canberra being involved in national and regional competitions, and for our city to become increasingly involved in hosting both national and international events. Sports-based tourism is definitely a viable option for Canberra if it is given the right priority by government, is advertised properly both locally and internationally, and is well organised in good quality facilities.

Mr Speaker, one positive outcome of all this is the possibility of improvement in the use of Bruce Stadium. Some of you may be interested to know that a fair while ago I made my peace with Ron Cahill from ACTAFL, although I was very disappointed earlier in the year to discover how quick some people had been to misrepresent what I had said about Bruce Stadium.

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