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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 816 ..

Olympic Games - Training Bases

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister and it relates to her responsibility for the ACT's Project 2000 team. I refer to recent announcements that at least two more international teams have agreed to base their training in Canberra in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics in the year 2000.

Mr Berry: There would not be too many runners amongst them. They have nowhere to run.

MR HIRD: Can the Chief Minister advise the parliament of exactly how many teams have now agreed to hold training camps in the Territory, and how negotiations with other countries are progressing?

Mr Berry: And is jumping blisters on the running track an Olympic sport?


MS CARNELL: I can understand why Mr Berry is interjecting. He is embarrassed, Mr Speaker. He is extraordinarily embarrassed. I have lost track of the number of times that Labor MLAs have slagged off at the Government for not doing enough to attract Olympic teams to the ACT. Mr Speaker, I know that you would remember back to November 1995 when this Government was accused of "failing to spend the money needed to upgrade Bruce Stadium". Mr Speaker, what have they done ever since? They have slagged off at us for spending the money to upgrade Bruce Stadium. They simply cannot make up their minds. Very interestingly, they also said that this Government had "no interest in attracting visitors and sportspeople to the ACT in 2000".

Mr Speaker, it is worth reminding the so-called new Labor Party of their track record on these issues. Let me use those phrases once more: "Failing to spend the money needed to upgrade Bruce Stadium" - that is what they said about us - and "no interest in attracting visitors and sportspeople to the ACT in 2000". Already, thanks to the efforts of many people working both within and outside this Government, both of these statements have come back to haunt the Opposition. Mr Speaker, no thanks to Labor, we are spending the money needed to upgrade Bruce Stadium, and we are working quietly and effectively at marketing the ACT as a destination for Olympic training. Despite the best efforts of Labor to talk down our Olympic prospects, we have already signed up three Olympic teams.

Mr Hird: How many?

MS CARNELL: Three. Thank you, Mr Hird. We have signed up two Olympic teams and one Paralympic squad. Last year we confirmed that the Brazilian team is coming to the ACT and is planning to base 280 athletes and support staff here during August and September in the year 2000. I can also confirm that Finland will be holding at least two of its training camps in Canberra, with 22 coaches and officials here in November,

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