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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 417 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The Bureau of Sport and Recreation has lodged an application for the installation of these lights. There were objections. The application went to the independent Commissioner for Land and Planning and the commissioner has made a decision approving the development. There is no doubt about that; that has occurred.

Through this motion I want to encourage the minister to think again, not so much just about the specifics of this case but about the broader implications it has for other local neighbourhood ovals like the Yarralumla one where there is housing very close to the playing area. We will see increasing demand for the use of these ovals and we will see an increasing clash between neighbourhood amenity and the amenity available to organisations and sporting groups that use the ovals. We need to have an appropriate balance. I believe that in this instance the balance is not there, and we will see a significant reduction in the residential amenity of residents immediately adjacent to the Yarralumla oval.

For that reason, I have moved this motion today, asking the minister to reconsider his decision. It is not a direction and I do not believe that would be appropriate. But I do believe it is appropriate that the minister be asked to seriously reconsider his decision to place training lights on this oval. I think it will have considerable impact on residential amenity and it will have longer term implications in relation to the residential amenity not just of this suburb-if, as I say, there is pressure down the track for a higher lux of lighting-but also for other neighbourhood ovals that perhaps will become targets for this sort of development as pressure continues for their use into the night hours. I urge members to support this motion.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (4.38): I would urge members not to vote for the motion. This matter has gone through the proper process. Certainly, I am well aware of the concerns of some residents as well as the concerns of some members to whom they might have written.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, every winter there are thousands of juniors playing field sports. Training sessions are required to develop their skills. I suppose space is a factor in the territory. We do have a finite amount of space and we do have training lights on quite a large number of ovals in the ACT. In fact, I think I saw a figure of about 33 neighbourhood ovals-as Mr Corbell, I think fairly correctly, calls them-throughout the ACT.

Increasingly, training times are affected by things such as the work commitments of coaches and the fact that so many teams are playing sport, which is very good and very commendable. We want our young people to be healthy, to engage in healthy pursuits and to get out there and play a constructive sport. This sort of participation is particularly handy in addressing some social ills that affect our community. Obviously, the more kids play sport the less likely it is that they will get into trouble. There are a lot of other benefits, including the health benefits. So I think everyone in this house would want to encourage young people to play a good healthy sport if at all possible.

Suburban sports grounds are designed and constructed to respond to local demands for convenient access to sporting facilities. Increasing demands were identified back in 1999 by the Canberra Deakin Soccer Club, as it is now called. In that year their junior numbers reached about 170 and there were inadequate space and time slots to allow

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