Page 898 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013
winter sport season. However, due to the caretaker period before the territory election last October, the 2011-12 schedule was kept in place for the summer season. I anticipate that there will be a fee increase for the 2013 winter season. However, it is certainly not at the level that Mr Doszpot is suggesting in his commentary tonight. Fee increases are predominantly set at the wage price index. However, some fees may vary to adjust fairly into the fee structure of junior sport being progressively charged at half the rate of senior sport.
Sport and Recreation Services may have notified some clubs that they anticipate an increase but this has not been approved by me as minister, and I am yet to consider any increases. It should be noted that sportsground hire costs are only a small part of the overall costs associated with playing sport. For example, the current charge for junior football is $4.15 per hour for one football field for training. Various football clubs share this space and up to 50 participants per field can utilise that $4.50 hire service. So this equates to 8c per player per hour. Revenue received from the hire of sportsgrounds recovers about 14 per cent of the total costs of sportsground maintenance, but it is nonetheless important to offset these maintenance costs that are otherwise funded by government.
The ever-increasing costs of potable water, which accounts for 60 per cent of the sportsground maintenance budget is an issue the government must consider. (Time expired.)
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.31): In the interests of time I will make a few brief remarks so we can finish this matter this evening in the time remaining to us. This is a very interesting debate, and I think there is a real debate here in light of Mr Doszpot’s motion and the policy the Canberra Liberals brought to the last election: what is the best outcome? Is it to have the lowest possible fees or is it to have a decent quality of oval? I think there are mixed views on this in the community. When the Canberra Liberals first came up with their policy on this quite some distance out from the election, as I recall—it was very early in that first splash of things—I did some talking with people in the sports community about whether this was a good idea, and I received mixed feedback. Some obviously thought it was terrific, but others basically said, “The real issue is making sure the ovals are of a better quality.” They would rather pay a fee that assisted with the upkeep of the ovals and produced a higher level of maintenance so there was less prospect of a child rolling their ankle or breaking their ankle and all of those sorts of things that can happen in sport. There is a genuine debate here, and I do not think there is a right or wrong position on it.
I was interested to hear the minister talk about the amount of revenue received relative to the amount spent on ground maintenance. Clearly it is not a full cost-recovery model and clearly there is already a significant subsidy going into maintaining sports grounds in the ACT. That is a significant benefit particularly to young people but also to all people across the board who play sport and make use of the ovals. They are a tremendous facility. Subsidised fees are a significant incentive already. The sorts of figures we are talking about for hourly hire, particularly when you put 30 or 40 kids on an oval, are very low costs. People should be able to make some contribution to the upkeep of the ovals. If you go to the swimming pool, it is $5.50 a visit for an adult. If