Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3076 ..
MR STEFANIAK: Mr Kaine, as the AFL indicated to me, the commitment of some $8m for the redevelopment of Manuka and Phillip will benefit Australian football. I understand from the current study being done by Mr Livy's group that Australian football is very keen to utilise Manuka as well as Football Park. As the AFL chief executive officer indicated to me about 14 months ago when I saw him in Melbourne, $8m is quite a lot of money and you can do a lot with it. That was a substantial commitment by the Government to help that code. I think it was a very important commitment, especially as Bruce Stadium is now a rectangle. I think it was an essential commitment for this Government to make.
As well as that, Mr Kaine, the Government supports the great game of Australian football through a number of other initiatives. We provide support through the sport and recreational development program. One of the more recent initiatives - it did not cost us a fortune but I was delighted to provide some money towards it - was the hosting of a junior carnival which for the first time ever involved a South African team, an under-18 team from South Africa. There were also teams from Papua New Guinea and the Northern Territory as well as a local team. It was a particularly good event at the Ainslie football field. I was delighted that it was the first time an Australian rules football team from another country, apart from Papua New Guinea, played on Australian soil. I was pleased to see that a couple of the provinces in South Africa were keen to develop the code. I think that will assist the code immensely in years to come. That positive development was started by some members of the Australian Defence Force who were in South Africa on exchange. Senator Reid and I presided at the opening in September. That is a recent example of the type of support we are giving. Although it is not so much at the grassroots level, it is indicative of the general support we give to the local ACTAFL. We are certainly very keen.
The $8m for both Manuka and Phillip is not an inconsequential amount of money to support the code. Mr Livy from the AFL commission is involved and they are spending some of their own money on what they want to see happen with those two ovals. That is a very positive step and one the Government encourages. They are very keen to work in partnership with us. That can only augur well for the code. There have been so many frustrating starts for an Australian football team for Canberra. That may be quite unrealistic because we have a relatively small population, but I think some of the more recent steps, especially since Mr Livy and his committee became involved in August, are very positive and augur well. The Government looks forward to working with them.
MR BERRY: I thank Mr Rugendyke for allowing me to ask my question next. Age before beauty. My question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care, Mr Moore. Minister, figures published recently by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in its "Nursing Labour Force" report showed that the ACT has 10 per cent fewer nurses per head of population than the national average and that nursing enrolments in the ACT dropped 20 per cent from 1993 to 1997. Can the Minister outline what measures he intends to take to improve the retention and recruitment of nurses in the ACT in order to secure adequate health outcomes for residents of the Territory?