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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2076 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

The festival incorporated some 35 to 40 different sports. It included some contests or tournaments of national significance. In 1998, it incorporated Canberra's national sport, futsal, and we witnessed the Australian championships. The future of the festival is in grave doubt because funding has been withdrawn. The princely sum of $80,000 per annum is no longer to be provided because your department has decided that it is an event, I understand, and therefore the festival committee was referred to CTEC, and - surprise, surprise! - CTEC believe that - - -

MR SPEAKER: Order! This is getting longer than a commentary in the Commonwealth Games. Would you come to your question, please?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I am haunted by the spectre of an idle and unwanted futsal slab now that the festival has been torpedoed. Could the Minister - - -

MR SPEAKER: You will be haunted by something else if you do not come to your question.

Mr Berry: He is getting there. Mr Speaker, your leniency with the Government when they answer questions ought to be reflected to the same degree when members raise questions.

Mr Hird: Are you taking a point of order?

MR SPEAKER: Never mind; I want his question. Ask your question, Mr Quinlan, please.

MR QUINLAN: Could the Minister please advise of the blinding logic that has led to the dumping of this very lucrative festival?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Quinlan, there is a fair history to this issue, as you may or may not be aware. I have certainly had meetings with representatives of the festival, as I have had meetings with representatives of sporting bodies. You would be aware that I have regular consultations with ACTSport, the peak body for sport, and, of course, the general sporting community. I will just fill you in on a few details, Mr Quinlan. In fact, I will go back to before 2 June because, basically, the sporting bodies have been involved from, I think, some time last year in a review of the triennial assistance categories of the sport and recreation development grants programs. That review was conducted by Ernst and Young.

It was a review in which the ACTSport board was actively involved, as were the Sport and Recreation Council and a number of sporting groups. The review came up with ways in which we could improve on our grants process. I might say that we have had an excellent grants process for a number of years and the improvements have been put into place for this year's round of grants. The various sports were advised in about May of this year of the new grants round process. That is point No. 1, Mr Quinlan, and that is something in which the sports themselves are actively involved in the process.

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