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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 2867 ..

MS CARNELL: No, not in the next week or so but there will be a - - -

Mr Stanhope: I think you just gave it, did you not?

MS CARNELL: I think I probably did. Not in the next week or so, Mr Speaker, but there will be a report.

Active Australia Games

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for sport, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, are you aware that the Active Australia Games supported by ACTEW and your own department are now under way in Canberra? I understand that participation numbers are disappointing, to say the least. Could you please advise the Assembly on how many final registrations were received, how many of those were from interstate and how many competitions have been cancelled?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. I probably cannot answer all of it, Mr Rugendyke, although I know that when the competition started on the weekend there were a little over 1,000 competitors, both interstate and local. I think initially there were about 33 different sports. I think they have ended up with about 24 or 25. I will confirm the exact number, Mr Rugendyke. If I can still find time and I do not die in the meantime from the dreaded lurgy which I have had for a couple of weeks, I would like to get out there and play some tenpin bowls this time, which I said I would do.

I would not be overly worried, Mr Rugendyke, about what might superficially appear to be a fairly low number. The ACT have these games this year, for 2000 and for 2002. I point out to members that when the Masters Games first started in Tasmania the initial turnout there was about 900, less than what we seem to have for the Active Australia Games. It is a new concept.

I note that several sports decided not to participate because it was too soon after the Masters Games and it would have been quite a big effort for them. It was also too soon after their winter competitions had finished and it was difficult for organisers to do the necessary organisation. I would hope that two years down the track those sports will be more interested in participating. I can understand their reluctance, given the huge amount of work that went into making the Masters Games the success it was. Having been involved in a few sports there myself, and having seen the work done, I can appreciate that point of view.

Nevertheless, from what I have seen so far, the participants are enjoying themselves. I keep bumping into participants and volunteers around town, some of whom are well and truly over 40. It is an excellent concept which I would hope would grow as the Masters Games has. The Masters Games are shared around the States. We would be unlikely to be in the bidding for about seven or eight years. I would hope that for the year 2000 this type of event would take off much more than it has so far. I think it is a very innovative event. It caters for all people aged between 20 and 40. You do not have to be a star; you just have to participate. I think it is a concept that will grow.

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