Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 26 March 2009) . . Page.. 1452 ..
algae outbreaks we have in our lakes each summer. The triathlon is my sport of interest, but there is also rowing. I was at the Independent Schools Rowing Regatta in February. It was a fantastic event, with more than 1,000 young people participating. Lots of parents came to town, boosting our tourism. Unfortunately, the lake was having a blue-green algae outbreak. The organisers pressed ahead with the event and then found themselves in the middle of a controversy because of the blue-green algae in the lake.
We need to strive to think about our sports facilities in the broadest context. We need to think about childcare facilities to maximise participation, especially for women, to ensure that as many people as possible can take part. I think it is important not to lose sight of sport as a tourism issue. We should be aiming in the ACT for the participation events, not focused on necessarily the big money events in terms of having to pay a lot to have sports come to Canberra, but those events where lots of people participate, things like the masters games and the mountain biking races. These are the sorts of sports events that we want to create facilities for in Canberra, and that includes the current issue around the need for low cost accommodation.
In conclusion, I want to use this opportunity to call on the government to do the fundamental audit that we know we need to have to get a sense of what our current facilities are and what we need in the future and develop that plan to ensure that we have smooth infrastructure provision for all those important community organisations that are doing their best every weekend and every day.
MR HANSON (Molonglo) (4.18): I will firstly thank Mr Doszpot for bringing such an important matter into the house—a matter of public importance. I thank him and I congratulate Mr Rattenbury on many of the comments he made. I think there are some extremely good points that he raised. The idea of an audit is something that we raised during the election campaign also. I think it has great merit and it does prevent a short-term focus being taken to planning issues, to planning in our great city.
Unfortunately, that is something that is systemic with this government. We do see a short-term approach, a reactive approach. We see that in regard to what has happened at Deakin and we have seen it across the board—things like the task force that is being set up reactively after a committee inquiry into GPs has already been established.
I also share Mr Rattenbury’s concern for the utility of our lakes. Much better use can be made of those. We have got to look at ways that we can make sure that they are available to people all year round and do not, as appears to happen every year, get a plague of blue-green algae.
I can turn to Mr Barr’s comments with regard to the Deakin pool. Clearly this is a failure in planning, a failure in anticipation. The claim that he made yesterday in regard to planning seems to be that his is the voice of reason—on your left, the extreme left wing, and he talks of the Greens, and we are the extreme right. I do not think this is an issue of political agenda—of left, centre, right. This is an issue of competence. What I see here is a failure in competence, and he is trying to paint it as one of political agenda. It is clearly not the case.