Page 893 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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Sportsgrounds in Canberra are a valuable resource. We need them, and we need them to be maintained. They need to be available, they need to be playable and they need to be located in areas where the need is greatest. Sports users have little confidence that their needs are understood by this Labor government, and promises of more and bigger things sometime into the future do not fix the problems the clubs face today.

Mr Barr, we are calling on you to assist the clubs—assist the clubs who are coming to see you about the dire circumstances that they are in. The fact that they have to keep raising prices is making it harder for many members of the community, especially when they sometimes have two, three and four children playing for their particular clubs. Mr Barr, do not make it harder for clubs by keeping them in the dark, by cherry picking increases and ignoring their requests for information and improvements.

Have a look at the Liberal policy that we put before you. Have a look at it in a serious fashion—as to how you can help some of these junior sports to be able to cope with the many areas of increase that they are faced with during their normal season. They arrived at registration fees some months ago. All of a sudden, now they find that they are 54 per cent behind in their calculations on just one activity. What do they do? Do they now slug the parents for another 54 per cent increase to cover your increase, Mr Barr? I am asking you—we are calling on you and your government—to have a look at the needs of the sporting community, which has come to us asking for some relief.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (6.16): I thank Mr Doszpot for raising this issue this evening. I would indicate that I have circulated an amendment to Mr Doszpot’s motion. That amendment substitutes Mr Doszpot’s words with the following:

… the ACT leads the nation in participation in sport and recreation, with 80.3% of Canberrans participating in physical activity, well above the national average of 65% …

The words also include that the government recognises:

… sportsground hire fees are only a fraction of the cost of maintaining sports facilities and all revenue raised from these fees goes directly back into improving the quality of these facilities …

… the Government has invested in improving sport and recreation facilities such as:

(i) the restoration of Ngunnawal, Charnwood and Isabella Plains sportsgrounds. Work has begun on Bonython neighbourhood oval with works scheduled—

and budget funded—

at Weetangera and Watson ovals …

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