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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2001 ..



discussion is about, particularly in regard to what Ms Dundas was getting at. We do need to see a real recognition of the issues that are a problem for women's sport. It has far reaching implications, in my view.

As members are aware, we recently completed a report on the health of school-aged children, and the question of physical fitness and participation in sport was obviously something that we looked at in that committee. The gender issues are part of that discussion. What is really important, I think, is that the spectacle that Mr Quinlan referred to does have significance, in terms of our culture, in setting expectations for girls and boys. One of the reasons I believe it is important to have the spectacle, with as much hype around it in women's sport, is that the girls then, as they're growing up and seeing that spectacle-and we know the power of the media and television, et cetera-get the idea that women can be good sportspeople; it's not just about boys, basically. That's as fundamental as it gets. So I do think it is very important.

I notice in this motion and this debate there's been some to-ing and fro-ing with amendments and should we recognise and note the government's support or should we not and so on. I think it's all a bit churlish, to be honest. I don't have a problem noting that there have been some successes that have come from the government's program-and I've got a list of coaching programs that they've supported, which include organisations such as netball, ACT Cycling Federation, basketball, softball, rowing. They receive grants for coaching. Then there's another list here which I'm not sure Mr Hargreaves went through in his presentation. I assume he did. That's a good thing. I don't have a problem noting the success.

I'm not quite sure whether I need to note the past government's successes. I'm not quite sure what they were, to be honest. I wouldn't die in a ditch over it.


(12.01): Members, I'll close the whole debate. Thank you, members. I'll just address the issue that Ms Dundas raised. She was making a point about the funding. I was saying that $1 does make an impact; no dollars don't. She's sort of half right, but there is a reality today that a reduction in funding, if you like, or no funding at all will have a detrimental effect. We're not talking about government funding here, Mr Speaker. I want to make that absolutely clear.

I have to quote some of the things my wife says-I won't quote them all because they're quite rude-when I'm watching AFL on the TV. She regards sport not as sport; she regards it as an entertainment medium, where actors play out their part and entertain us all-that sort of thing. She's entitled to that view, the savage that she is, but can I say, Mr Speaker, that the point that Ms Tucker made was absolutely spot on. We go out there in our numbers in the crowds, and we watch the spectacle that Mr Quinlan spoke about.

I had the lack of pleasure to go out there and watch the Raiders get done the other night-pleasure is really the wrong word. But I had the pleasure of watching the game. Mr Quinlan's quite right. The crowd I would have put at around-I don't know if his numbers agree with my instincts-60:40 actually. The women go out there and watch the spectacle of a rugby league game. People want that spectacle, but if we don't start at the beginning, if we don't start down there at the teenage years and start building up women's participation skill levels, people's interest in it, and people's desire to go and watch it, then they won't come and watch women participate in the spectacle.

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