Page 3759 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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A lot of people in Canberra have travelled, and they realise that actually things are not too bad in Canberra and that in plenty of countries people have never even seen an oval like the kind of ovals we have, let alone had the chance to play on them. We need to be mindful of the fact that we live in a fortunate city; we should have good access to services, but we should also not lose perspective on what we do have access to for so much of the time.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.53): I thank members for their support in celebrating the success of the Sport and Recreation Service and Parks and Conservation Service in providing these facilities. I note that Mr Doszpot talked about fees and charges. Let me remind him, through you, Mr Assistant Speaker, of the Canberra Liberals policy that went to the 2012 election, with cutting spending on community sport as part of their platform. And they opposed the urban improvement fund, as I said, a large percentage of which is spent on upgrading—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members! Members, Ms Porter has the floor.

Mr Barr interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Barr, don’t encourage them. Ms Porter has the floor.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER Ms Porter, take your seat for a moment. Mr Coe! I have asked members to come to order several times. Ms Porter is closing the debate. Please let her do so. Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. They opposed the urban improvement fund, as I said, a large percentage of which is spent on upgrading local facilities and supporting local sport. It does not take Einstein to realise that this would mean clubs would increase player registration fees in these circumstances.

The list of improvements to sporting facilities Mr Barr has just mentioned is indeed impressive. And as he has noted, the ACT government is working together with not-for-profit organisations and business to make some of these improvements, which is pleasing to see, with everyone working together to continue to make a difference.

I know that parents who participate in or watch sport in the ACT appreciate these facilities, as is borne out by this survey. Mr Rattenbury makes an excellent point in saying that this survey is a random survey and it is to be relied upon. I am afraid that Mr Wall can get up there as much as he likes and pooh-pooh this survey, but it was done by an independent body. Through you, Mr Assistant Speaker, I would draw Mr Wall’s attention to that.

When I look out on the sporting fields that are close to me on a daily basis, I never cease to be amazed by how busy they are. With the softball fields that are very close

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