Page 5284 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 15 November 2011

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50 per cent”. How many ovals have had their playing surfaces re-grassed to couch and what has been the cost to date per oval?

MR BARR: The following sportsgrounds have had a full conversion using couch turf maxi rolls: Hawker softball centre, Narrabundah ball park, Ngunnawal neighbourhood oval, Chisholm district playing field No 1 and Isabella Plains neighbourhood oval. Charnwood district playing fields 27 and 28 are currently being completed. The cost of laying these maxi rolls, including preparation, is around $100,000 per hectare.

Several sportsgrounds have also been over-sown with couch seed. This transitions the sportsground surfaces over a period of time. The advice from the directorate is that it can take 18 to 24 months before the surface has sufficient cover to be playable. I am advised that the cost of this particular method is approximately $20,000 per hectare. Tuggeranong enclosed oval, Phillip oval, Harrison district playing fields and Duffy neighbourhood oval have had that process utilised for their restoration.

MR SESELJA: Minister, has any assessment been done as to the water savings generated on those ovals that have been re-grassed and, if so, what have been the results of that assessment?

MR BARR: Yes. As I indicated in the original statement that Mr Seselja quoted, it is about a 50 per cent water saving. The total figures for water usage on sportsgrounds vary from year to year, depending on the amount of rainfall. But it is certainly the case that couch requires less water.

Festival funding program

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, can you please outline how the government’s festival funding program operates?

MR BARR: The festival fund is a funding program aimed at encouraging festival activity. It enables the community to access support for festival program development. There is a clear and equitable process that is followed for the festival fund every year. Potential applicants are encouraged to have a pre-application meeting where all criteria are outlined and explained. This is an important process for applicants to ensure they know what information and level of detail to provide in their application, as not every application will be successful. All applications are carefully assessed by an independent expert committee and judged on the quality and innovation of the festival and the opportunities offered to the Canberra community to participate.

The 2012 festival fund was once again very competitive, with more than 30 applications and a total request for funding of more than $650,000. There were a number of applications that were not recommended for funding at this first stage. These applicants were unsuccessful for a number of reasons, including non-compliant applications or not meeting the relevant criteria. The ACT government will not allocate funding for non-compliant applicants. This would undermine the process and be an inappropriate use of government funds. Unsuccessful applicants were notified of the decision and have been offered the opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their applications.

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