Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 639 ..
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I ask, through you, whether the minister can advise the Assembly of the government's position in relation to the future of the Canberra Women's Classic Tennis Tournament.
MR QUINLAN: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. While I am on my feet may I recognise that Mr Stefaniak and his team, the Bilbies, won the social rugby. I think there were several events that finished with a boat race.
MR SPEAKER: Order! I think there is a rule about being concise and confining your response to the subject matter.
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I was just trying to clarify something. The Canberra Women's Classic is underwritten by Tennis Australia, and I believe that Tennis Australia incurred a loss of some $40,000 this year. Tennis Australia are reviewing their programs for the 2003-04 budget preparation and will obviously include the Canberra Women's Classic as part of that review.
Tennis Australia and Tennis ACT are due to sit down on 13 March to go through the question of the viability and/or the presentation of next years Canberra Women's Classic. During the course of the last Canberra Women's Classic, Geoff Pollard of Tennis Australia said that he thought government should put more money into the classic. I think that was in large part a throwaway line which very quickly segued into a headline. But I have to say that at this point in time there has been no request by Tennis Australia or Tennis ACT for additional funding.
It is now a matter of record that the ACT taxpayer has made a huge investment in the tennis facility out at Lyneham. There has been capital funding of $11/2 million for clay courts to attract two events-the Canberra International and the Australian Clay Court Championships, which were to commence in 2002. The Australian Clay Court Championships has not materialised or eventuated yet-in Canberra at least. However, the capital works were funded and included clay courts, Rebound Ace courts and a 1,500-seat stadium. It is also the case that CTEC has provided $70,000, as agreed with Tennis Australia, over three years to assist the promotion and marketing of that tournament.
The government hopes to continue with that event, but it needs to be said that at this point in time, even though there has been some publicity, we have not been approached. Like we do with any case, we will accept the approach on its face value when it is received.
I would also like to point out in relation to tennis more generally that the government does provide triennial support for ACT tennis at $42,000 a year; considerable capital support for local tennis clubs amounting to $45,000 over a couple of years; and over $30,000 in cash and services to the ACT Academy of Sport tennis program. So I think the government is providing quite considerable support to tennis. We await a sensible approach from Tennis Australia.
MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can the Minister then