Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1993 ..
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, do you wish to speak to the amendment?
MR HARGREAVES(11.28): I welcome the support in general from the opposition. I wish to oppose the amendment. I wish to make my point before Ms Dundas actually rises on the issue because she is, after all, the only person sitting here in the chamber from the crossbench point of view. The huge burden of responsibility about women's sport and government approaches to funding it henceforth will rest on her.
Mr Speaker, I'm disappointed that Mr Stefaniak brought up this issue because he's actually introduced a certain politics into this debate, which I had intended to avoid. I listed the government's achievements in its budget distribution by way of indicating the level of support that any community trust like this can expect from any government. I don't have the numbers on my person for the previous government's distribution of money, and I would welcome a speech actually listing the former government's contribution to women's sport so as to acknowledge that what we're talking about is the government of the day getting behind these teams and actually showing leadership in the matter so that the peak bodies follow them.
I really think that bit-"notes the success of the government's women's sport funding initiatives"-needs to stay, and it needs to stay on another level: to remove it, Mr Speaker, sends the message to the community that it would note the failure of the government's women's sport funding initiatives. Not say anything at all is, in my view, probably even worse.
What we need to do is tell the people out there how the government are actually doing it. It doesn't matter whether it's a Labor government or a Liberal government doing it. I don't agree with Mr Stefaniak that taking it out doesn't detract at all from the motion. I don't believe that it actually will detract, in the sense that the whole thing won't die. But can I say that it should actually stay in. It encourages other governments to match that particular bar and get over it.
I've listed in my speech the amounts-$60,000 in one initiative, $20,000 in another initiative, $100,000 in one instance for an extra women's competition. These are fairly significant high-jump bars. If we leave this in, we are saying to governments that come after this one, "You can have success with the money that you hand over to women's sports, and it would be really nice if you got over that high jump."
I would put a plea out to the wonderful colleagues on the crossbench, particularly those of a sporting mind, those who would know that they couldn't really participate in organised rugby league or organised AFL, particularly when some of the crossbench members have in fact the physical attributes to play very well in the forward pocket for any AFL team at all in the ACT, for support. I would ask for support for this motion to be passed, unemasculated, Mr Speaker. After all, we're after equal treatment here. This is evidence the government are dishing out a bit of equal treatment, and I would seek the support of the chamber.
I would seek, in fact, Mr Stefaniak's withdrawal of that particular amendment because all he does is soil the intention of the motion and actually introduce a focus which is totally unnecessary. So I seek the opposition's support and of course the very valued support from the crossbench.