Page 1451 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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about reaction: what can I do, what can I do? The reality is that we have known about this problem for at least five years and just today—today—the minister has finally got off his arse and done something. He has finally sent a letter, and I would like to congratulate the minister.

Mr Barr: Madam Assistant Speaker, I imagine that “arse” is unparliamentary. I would ask you to rule on that.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Yes, I think it is unparliamentary.

MR RATTENBURY: I withdraw that expression. The minister has finally motivated himself to do something. The most ironic part of this is that this morning Deakin Swimming Ltd appointed a receiver. Today, finally, after that moment the minister finally manages to do something and send a letter. Congratulations, minister. Good on you for being so proactive in trying to help this not-for-profit, volunteer-driven community organisation. That is the best this government can do despite the fact that this issue has been around for four or five years since it went through the planning committee many years ago.

This is why we need to do an audit, so that we can get ahead of the curve and not leave it until after the receiver has been appointed to finally do something. That is why I suggest we need an audit—so that we get a strategic plan that provides a work template to government and provides greater security for sports organisations so that they can plan for the future. That is what this is about. This is about being proactive, looking to the future, getting on the front foot and making sure that we do not have the sort of stuff-up that we are seeing take place with the Oasis Leisure Centre.

I would like to take this opportunity while we are debating sport to speak quickly about a number of other issues. The first is multi-use facilities. When we are talking about sports facilities we should strive to make as many of our facilities, given the limited resources we do have, multi-use. Take Bruce Stadium as the example. Somewhere down in the history of time—and I should remember this, but I cannot think how it happened—Bruce Stadium was converted to a rectangle, therefore excluding sports like AFL, athletics and cricket. Given the current popularity of both day and night cricket, and particularly the emerging 20-20 cricket, it is a great travesty that we cannot play those sorts of matches at Bruce Stadium, because I think a lot of people in Canberra would really enjoy that.

When thinking about sports facilities we also need to think about access. We need to ensure that there is public transport to and from our sporting facilities, not just for the big matches—we do have them—when there is a big Raiders or Brumbies game on. We need to strive to improve our public transport for ordinary folks, children and sports people when they go to training at night or on the weekends. You are not going to get to your sports fixture on time when your bus turns up once an hour, if you are lucky.

I admit a slight bias here, but we need to remember that our lakes are a sporting facility and we need to strive to ensure that we do what we can to avoid the blue-green

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