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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2002 ..



This could happen in 2005: we could have the international women's hockey competition here, with a bit of luck. In the levels of international championships for hockey, I think the World Cup is the first, there's another one and then there's this championship. I would argue that if you put that one on you'd get stacks of people going to watch the Australian women's hockey team playing in the ACT.

I would also bet good money that, if you put the Australian men's hockey team on and you put the Australian women's hockey team on, you would drag a bigger crowd to the women's national team game than the men's. Why? Because of the success of that team-not because they're better at the sport than the men, but because they are more successful; and people are attracted to success.

Why do you think that is? I was paying credit to the Canberra Times and other media outlets. I do actually recall the Speaker's favourite sport, that is, running down the road. When the Speaker runs down the road once a year, particularly in things like the Canberra Times fun runs and things like that, you always have a photo of the first woman over the line as well as the first bloke over the line; there is always equal treatment in that sort of event. We need to have that right across the board.


: I never see that.


: Well, you're too far back in the field, Mr Speaker, to see that.

I just would like again to underscore the point Ms Tucker makes. If we want people to go and see elite women's sport, then it has to have the same encouragement to be as spectacular as the elite men's sport. I'm urging the private sector, the community sector, as well as governments in the future to recognise all our community obligations to actually achieve that.

I've seen ACT-level AFL teams as well as quite a lot of soccer. I can tell you the women's soccer teams in the ACT are every bit as good as the second-level men's teams, every bit as good a spectacle. It is the same thing with the AFL.

If you've never had the pleasure of watching a women's cricket game, it's just fantastic. Do we give the same recognition to our Australian women's cricket team? No. Have they got the same success? Not quite, but they are pretty good. But we don't do that.

We have to remember too that there is a movement afoot across the country to put money and resources into junior development and participation in sport. When I spoke to Ross Smith, the development manager for the AFL, about this thrust, he said, "Yes, of course, we've got to get the young fellows out on the park."It occurred to me that they're missing out on 50 per cent of the junior development because there wasn't any attention to the needs of the girls between the ages of 12 and 18. It's not in their focus; it's not in their minds. That's all it is. When I mentioned it to him he went, "Of course. Thank you for that."He took that away and then changed the focus a bit into having both genders in their thinking on junior sport.

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