Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1823 ..
Mr Moore: We all make mistakes, Paul.
MR OSBORNE: I made no mistake. All of my comments at the time centred on finding the best solution for each sport in the city in regard to grounds and facilities. However, in regard to an AFL side being permanently based in Canberra, and in light of the criticism that I did cop at the start of the year from the many AFL supporters, I feel that it is time now for ACTAFL to either put up or shut up. It is time for them to show that they can bring a side here or else crawl back into their holes and let those who can use Bruce Stadium properly get on with the job. I might add, Mr Speaker, that I am a big fan of AFL and I do hope that we get a side.
On the subject of grounds and facilities, I agree with the Minister in his statement that facilities are the key to increased sporting participation. It is pleasing to me and the people of Tuggeranong to see plans for the indoor centre and the upgrading of the Erindale Centre, and to see plans on board for a range of other sports-related developments in the valley. All of these developments are badly needed and their initiative is to be applauded. I am led to believe that a lot of them did come from the previous Government.
However, in considering the wider picture, I encourage the Minister to look at the maintenance and continued development of some of the grounds and buildings that we already have. There are many ovals and fields throughout the city where various types of football, athletics and other sporting games are played on the weekends, and there are no change rooms or toilets for either the players or the spectators. It is clearly the responsibility of the Government to do something about this. All that the kids and parents are left with at present is the trees at the end of the field, which is a bit of a problem if you are a female.
The disgraceful state of a number of our outdoor playing fields is another area that I think needs looking at too, Mr Speaker. Many of these fields have been subject to substandard levels of maintenance for the past year or so and, as a direct result, are now a real danger to people who participate on them. Earlier this year one of Tuggeranong's best young rugby league players was permanently sidelined from an injury which was directly related to the shocking state of Wanniassa Oval, which I can vouch for and which I did play a game on this year, Mr Speaker. I lost a fair amount of bark there. The latest problem to be brought to my attention about sports fields is the poor condition of some of those at our schools.
Mr Berry: If you lost a bit of weight you would not fall so heavily.
MR OSBORNE: It was one of the very rare times that I was tackled, Mr Berry.
A very distressed mother rang my office last week about her 12-year-old son who unfortunately tore all the ligaments in one of his knees playing football on a primary school field in Tuggeranong which was full of humps and hollows from the lack of care by the Bureau of Sport, which is contracted to maintain school fields in good condition.