Page 3820 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 24 August 2010

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Some have two programs, and others run development squads only. A pathway from the ACT—from that point—then leads to programs run by national sporting organisations and international federations. There are countless examples of ACT junior athletes who have progressed to the international stage. These include: cyclist Michael Rogers; basketballer Alex Bunting; Socceroo Karl Valery; hockey player Nicole Arnold; the captain of the Australian men’s volleyball team—and dual Olympian—Ben Hardy; and BMX rider Carolyn Buchanan. It is athletes such as these that have become role models and inspire the participation of many other participants frequenting the grounds, courts and pools of the ACT. Along the way, they not only develop into athletes, but secure health and social benefits, as many members have said before, improving their health and wellbeing into the future. I commend the matter of public importance.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.17): In the 73 seconds left to me, I simply want to thank the Leader of the Opposition for bringing this motion on. It is very important. Having been at many of those ovals for Aussie rules, rugby union, netball or cricket over a number of years, let me say that to get our kids out there is a fantastic thing. And there is a once in a lifetime opportunity in front of us at the moment, with the Greater Western Sydney bid. I would urge members, if they have not joined the Greater Western Sydney bid, to do so. We need lots of sponsors. The minister is here, and it is great, because I can say to him that not only is this good for sport, but it is a really big tourism opportunity as well. We know that a quarter of the Brumbies crowds come from interstate, so having the GWS playing some of their games here will bring the tourism dollar into the ACT, and we can then perhaps put some of that dollar that we make back into sport.

Ms Porter finished on a really good note in terms of saying that we have got to give the young ones something to aspire to. In terms of GWS, the level that they play in the VFL is the highest level at which you can play Aussie rules in the world, and it is important—sorry, the AFL, there you go. My deep-rooted memories of under-nines at Woden and Manuka and on the Hughes oval on a Saturday morning back in the 1960s come back to haunt me. But it is important we get the bid right, and perhaps the minister might take the time at some stage to update the Assembly on the progress of the bid and what the benefits of it to the people of the ACT will be.

That aside, there are other links between sport and fitness and the ability of our young ones, in terms of social cohesion, in terms of better outcomes at school, in terms of keeping kids out of the criminal justice system. Given that the Assistant Speaker is now about to cut me off, I commend the motion to the house.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): The time for the discussion has expired.


Motion (by Mr Barr) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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