Page 3567 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009

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As we have previously reflected here, the views of the people of Canberra in relation to confidence in the capacity of members of the Liberal Party to be ministers is reflected most particularly in that Mr Smyth now is the first and greatest—what is that show? The greatest loser?

Ms Gallagher: The Biggest Loser.

MR STANHOPE: The Biggest Loser. The biggest loser and the greatest loser has lost an election as leader and has lost three elections as deputy leader. How much patience is the Liberal Party going to have in Mr Smyth as part of the leadership team? What is it—four times? The biggest loser: lost as leader, lost two or three times as deputy leader. There is no bigger loser in the Assembly. The people of Canberra, in the context of expressing confidence in members of the Liberal Party, of course, have voted, and they have voted on three separate occasions now, in relation to the degree of confidence they have in the Liberal Party.

Of course, in the latest election, Mr Seselja, as Leader of the Opposition, returned the second-lowest vote ever. Only Trevor Kaine, the late and dearly departed leader of the Liberal Party, has actually achieved a worse result electorally than Mr Seselja has, and it is something that the Liberal Party reflects on. You have here the biggest loser in Brendan Smyth. He is the only person, as deputy leader and leader, to lose three consecutive elections. And Zed Seselja: the second-lowest electoral return ever by a leader of the Liberal Party. I thank the member for the question.


MS HUNTER: My question is to Minister Barr, minister for sport. I refer to a Canberra Times article on 8 August 2009 titled “Caps biggest losers in handouts to sports teams”. How do you justify the recent additional assistance and total funding to the Brumbies of some $1.85 million plus tax breaks, more than a third of the $3.7 million you hand out for big sporting events, when our most successful team, the Capitals basketball team, receives just $100,000 per year?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. There is no doubt that the ACT government, through its national league teams funding program, provides $100,000 a year for three ACT national league teams. They are the Capitals, the Brumbies and the Raiders. Through our national league teams funding program we provide an equivalent level of support for, as Ms Hunter has correctly identified, our most successful national team in a national sporting competition, and that would be the Canberra Capitals. That support is provided on an equal basis. Tier 1 funding in a national league teams program treats the Raiders, the Brumbies and the Capitals as equals.

The additional support that is provided is through a performance agreement to play matches at Canberra stadium and it relates to the nature of the competitions in so much as the Brumbies participate in an international competition that involves playing matches in New Zealand and South Africa. It is an entirely different, structured competition and, hence, comes at an additional cost.

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