Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 2275 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Hunter Dash for 2000 Chairman, Mr John Peschar, said while his group wished Canberra well, he was disappointed that the Hunter's relationship with the Japanese Olympic Committee may have been damaged unintentionally.

"This kind of statement could damage not only the Hunter's reputation with the Japanese Olympic Committee, but also Canberra's reputation. It does not display fairmindedness nor the Olympic ideals of sportsmanship and friendship.

"Hunter Dash for 2000 will be taking steps to repair the damage with the Japanese Embassy and the Japanese Olympic Committee in the hope that the relationship can continue with mutual respect and understanding".

In other words, Ms Follett, not only were you wrong, but it appears you have also done some real damage to efforts by both the Hunter region and Canberra to secure Olympic commitments from other countries by the year 2000. I table that media release, Mr Speaker.

What is even more breathtaking is some arrogance displayed by Ms Follett's office when apparently confronted with this information last week. I am advised that, when told by a member of the Hunter Olympic Committee that there was no agreement, a member of her staff disputed this, saying, "I know what is going on in Newcastle more than you do". How incredible! Obviously, Ms Follett, you know more about the Olympic soccer series than not only the Hunter region and the ACT Government but also the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. SOCOG confirmed last week that there is no decision on whether the Olympic soccer quarterfinals will be played anywhere other than Sydney.

On 31 October ACT Government officials met with SOCOG to discuss Canberra's bid to host soccer in the year 2000, and I can confirm that Bruce Stadium will be one of the venues inspected to assess its suitability against IOC technical requirements. Any investment in the stadium that may be required to meet IOC specifications would have to be weighed up against the benefits which would accrue from hosting preliminary rounds, not quarterfinals, of the Olympic soccer competition. In other words, Ms Follett, the ACT Government is doing all it can to promote our Olympic chances. I might also point out to Ms Follett and members opposite that, in terms of facilities, if they had a broader understanding of the issue, Canberra can provide international standard training facilities in many more of the 30 or so Olympic sports than Newcastle can provide them. We can do most of them; Newcastle can do about eight or nine. It really is inconceivable that the entire Japanese Olympic team could base themselves in one centre.

The sort of rubbish coming out of the Leader of the Opposition's office in relation to this does nothing to help. It certainly puts Ms McRae in a very embarrassing position in the ACT sporting community, because it is her credibility that has suffered. This is not the first time that Ms Follett's source has proven to be less than reliable, as I indicated before

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .