Page 899 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

you think about the hourly fee charged for some of these things, particularly per person, it is way below what it costs to go to a swimming pool. The cost for the use of ovals is, therefore, not too bad a price in the scheme of things.

I was concerned to hear the remarks Mr Doszpot made about the difficulties sporting groups are having booking the ovals. That is not addressed in the motion actually, so, in some ways, we cannot vote on that or discuss it in terms of the actual motion, but it is a point of some concern. This is something Mr Barr might want to look to, to see if there are ways for improvements to be made. It is a constant challenge for the government to break down some bureaucratic processes and urge agencies to improve things and adopt new technologies like online bookings. There is probably some room for improvement there that could well be explored. It sounds like Mr Doszpot has raised some issues that are real and are out there and warrant some further work. That is not in today’s motion—it is much more about the fees—but I want to acknowledge that as an issue. It warrants a further look.

On that basis, I will support Mr Barr’s amendment to the motion. Mr Doszpot has basically asked that the Canberra Liberals’ policy be adopted. It is not a view that I share. As I say, I think this debate is around lower fees versus better quality. I tend to fall on the side that the fees are not a significant impost, particularly spread across team sports. I would rather see some additional revenue made available to improve the quality of the ovals to ensure that there are fewer accidents and that the upkeep of the ovals is as high as possible.

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (6.35): It is an interesting debate, and I thank members for their contributions. It is interesting to hear Mr Rattenbury say that the lowest possible fees are not necessarily the best solution. I agree with that, but neither are the highest possible increases that some of these issues relate to—increases of 135 per cent and 54 per cent. In three years the fees I am talking about have gone from a 135 per cent increase last year to a further increase of 54 per cent this year. That is not a small amount for large clubs with a lot of juniors. Even for small clubs with juniors that amount equates to quite an impost on them.

It is also interesting to hear Mr Barr say that he has not signed off on any increases. That is fantastic news. If you can guarantee me that you will not sign off on any increases, then that is what I am looking for. The clubs are concerned, Mr Barr, that they have received very clear indications that on 1 April, in certain instances, instead of paying the $4.15 figure currently on your website, they will have to pay $6.40. That is an increase, Mr Barr, and that is what they have been told.

Mr Barr: There will be an increase, but not to the level you are talking about. There is an increase every year, Steve.


MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr, this is not a conversation; this is a debate.

Mr Barr: I am sorry; I was asked a question by the shadow minister.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video