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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1998 ..



The second point, Mr Speaker, is that, as I mentioned when I was speaking about the level of funding for sports, the government has put out a fair amount of money and has set a high-jump bar up for future governments to get over. I think it's reasonable to make the point that previous governments have not been totally derelict in putting forward money at all. If any inference is drawn that they haven't put forward any money, it's totally incorrect.

I would hope that what we're seeing is an incremental increase on the part of, say, Labor governments back in 1989-91, through Liberal governments, Alliance governments and now through the previous Liberal government and this government of Mr Stanhope's. Hopefully the next government will actually jack the figures up even higher. So I commend my amendment to the chamber to make sure that there is bipartisan support for these funding initiatives.


(11.48): I'll speak to the amendments and the substantive motion just to speed things along. I'm of course happy to congratulate any ACT women's sporting team on their successes in national competition.

The ACT does have a strong tradition of producing great female athletes, and our women's AFL team is no exception. The ACT women's AFL team has played in the national championships for a number of years, and I do understand that they actually won the competition in 2000. I wish the Canberra Currency all the best in the coming years.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to congratulate many other leading women's sporting teams that we have here in Canberra, as we've already talked about. The Canberra Capitals have won the NBL competition this year. The Canberra Eclipse soccer team came third last season, and the season before they won the championship. A number of Eclipse players have been selected to play with the national team, the Matildas.

The AIS Canberra Darters are a new team in the national netball competition, currently in equal sixth place and moving up the ladder. The Canberra Lakers women's hockey team came third in their national hockey competition this year. The ACT under-19 women's cricket team came fifth in the national championships this year, and I would like to congratulate team captain, Kris Britt, who has secured a place in the national women's cricket team, the Southern Stars.

I also note that the ACT Cricket Association is hoping to field a first grade women's team in the national competition in the near future and that there are currently moves under way to form a women's water polo team to play in the national competition as well.

The fact that the ACT women's AFL team has done so well is particularly pleasing, given that the ACT government gives a quarter of a million dollars every year to a men's AFL team based in Victoria. It is a poor reflection of our government that they will support a men's AFL team from interstate at a level surpassing any local sporting teams and that our own women's team gets very little in comparison from this government. I have very little doubt that, if the Canberra Currency were given the same level of support, they would have been able to win the competition hands down.

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