Page 900 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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MR DOSZPOT: Madam Speaker, if I can—

Mr Barr: I should not respond.

MR DOSZPOT: I will respond through you, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: That would be appropriate, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Mr Barr said that he has not signed off on any increase. It is not a figment of my imagination that clubs have come to me saying that on the website $4.15 is the current price they pay for using these grounds. They have been given paperwork by the department to say that fee on 1 April will be $6.40. That is a 54 per cent increase. If Mr Barr has not signed off on it, I dare say he should be talking to his department about why this situation has taken place. If Mr Barr can give us an undertaking that he will not sign off on a 54 per cent increase, I will very happily carry that message to the community. Because that is what—

Mr Barr: Well, I did that in my speech but you weren’t listening.

MR DOSZPOT: Well, that is what the community has come to see me about. It is the conflict of ideas that I cannot quite relate to—there will be some increase and the department has already given that increase but the minister is saying he has not signed off on it. I am missing something here. I would love for Mr Barr to explain that if that were possible, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: No, Mr Doszpot, you have the floor. This is not a conversation; this is a parliamentary debate. You have the floor, and you have six minutes to go.

MR DOSZPOT: I can only repeat what I have just said—I find it absolutely incredible that we have this dichotomy where the clubs are telling us they are being slugged and the minister is either hiding his head in the sand or—I will not go there. The department has given indications of the price the clubs have to pay. I cannot say it any more bluntly.

The government argue that they care about junior sport. I would love to see some definitive statement from Minister Barr, although it will not be in this debate, which I am closing at the moment. The government claim they are upgrading facilities. But will they deliver on all their upgrade promises? We doubt it, and so too do many other people who have waited, in some cases, for years for things to get better. Through the drought dozens of ovals went off line. The drought has been over for years and still there are less than a handful of grounds that have been restored. Indeed, one club is going to lose a fairly major oval in Woden, as we understand, in about a month’s time. So 21 ovals were still offline in 2011, and the rate of upgrade and restoration is only one or two grounds a year.

We understood the reasons for taking them offline and we accepted the rhetoric, but it is time that we got more than rhetoric and we got some action. Some in the

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