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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2880 ..

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Could I ask whether a question which asks the Government to announce its policy is in order. In fact, I would suggest to you that it is not.

MR SPEAKER: Standing order 117(c)(ii) states:

to announce Executive policy, but may seek an explanation regarding the policy of the Executive and its application ...

MR STEFANIAK: I think that Mr Hird is referring to the recent announcement of the grants to the sporting community, which went down terribly well with the sporting community. I had the pleasure of announcing them yesterday. I commend the Sport and Recreation Council for its efforts in relation to that.

In answer to Mr Hird's question: The Government has provided a number of grants this year to foster sport, especially to foster sport as we approach the year 2000.

Ms Follett: It is mostly to consultants.

MR STEFANIAK: We have provided $1.3m in direct grants to 151 sport and recreation organisations. This reflects our election commitment to maintain the grants program in real terms. It also reflects the importance that the Government places on opening up participation opportunities to improve fitness and health standards. It also recognises the major financial contribution that sport and recreation tourism makes to our local economy.

A major initiative of the development part of the program will assist the large number of volunteers and professionals involved in sport and in recreation to receive appropriate skills training. Some $43,000 has been allocated to a skilling program in a partnership between ACT Sports House, ACTSport and the Bureau of Sport for 1996. These funds will provide for a program coordinator and towards the costs of provision of the program itself. In the words of Harry Marr, the longstanding director at Sports House, sport really does need to get away from the kitchen table and into the world of more professional management. It is something that our sporting bodies do very well. This will further assist them in that regard.

As well, 21 major sporting organisations will receive $825,000 in grants in the first year of a three-year funding contract package based on achievement of agreed key results. In addition, bureau staff will take on a consultancy role in working with these groups. Bureau staff have been allocated six or seven sporting groups to foster and to assist. These 21 organisations have a combined annual turnover in excess of $8m. That is a further reflection of the economic importance of sport and recreation to the local economy. A further $131,000 will be spread amongst 36 smaller organisations for annual assistance. Capital and equipment grants totalling $320,400 and project funding of $45,000 go to some 28 organisations to undertake the hosting of major events and the establishment of special sport and recreational programs. Of significance are $20,000 to the women and girls development program and $10,000 to the disabled special measures program.

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