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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 1825 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

I would say that those on the opposite side of the scrum - the P and C council, the teachers union and members of the Opposition - have pushed you well and truly back in your scrum. I have to say that, by and large, you lost the ball for a while. I am pleased to say that you have picked it up again, but you are a long way back from where the ball was thrown into the scrum.

Mr Speaker, it seems to me that what we ought to see from this Minister is not only a statement on sport, which includes racing and motor sports, but also a statement on recreation. Perhaps the way to correct this is for him to come back into this Assembly at a further time with a statement on just what he is doing about recreation. As a well-rounded person and as Minister for Education, he has talked about his eight key areas.

Mr Osborne: Who are you talking about, Michael?

MR MOORE: A very sensitive Mr Osborne interjects when I talk about a well-rounded person. Both he and Mr Stefaniak, in one sense at least, are well-rounded. I am talking about ensuring that children who are growing up in Canberra have a well-rounded education and a well-rounded exposure to sport and recreation and the whole range of things they should be exposed to in order to ensure that they have a healthier lifestyle and are healthier people. Minister, you ought to be embarrassed by this lack of attention to recreation. I hope that you will stand up in a few minutes and tell us that you will come back to us with a statement on recreation to correct this embarrassing situation.

MS McRAE (4.11): My comments similarly will be quite brief. I also was profoundly disappointed with this paper, particularly in the areas that Mr Moore covered, the realms of recreation. The vast majority of the people of the ACT are far more involved with recreation, as such, than with competitive sport or regular sporting activity, as most of the statistical surveys show. The paper was a disappointment at the time, and nothing that has happened since has done much to improve my impression of what is going on in sport. Despite the limited praise that the sporting budget did get, I think the fine print is what sends a cold chill down everyone's spine, and that is the notion that the contracting out of our fields and facilities should be proceeded with. We have been told that efficiencies will be sought, and that perhaps contracting out will occur. I find that an appalling prospect because ultimately it means that our children, our families, our friends and our neighbours will have to pay for the very things that they should use freely daily and regularly if we are talking about improving recreation and fitness.

I think Mr Osborne's points about the maintenance are very well made, and any sort of bleating about the previous Government does not wash. You have had nine months, and these issues are not new. The emphasis that you, Minister, want to put on sport comes with a responsibility, and the responsibility is that the facilities that are here are properly maintained, are openly and freely available to the people of Canberra, and are progressively improved to the level that they need. I have had many instances cited to me, and the most telling one related to Campbell. The ovals there that are regularly used by the community and that the community is encouraged to book and use have no toilets, and the school is getting rather tired of their bushes being used in a very unpleasant way.

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