Page 4316 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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University of Canberra—sports hub

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.08): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the ACT Government delivered $5 million in the 2013-2014 Budget to accommodate community sport within the University of Canberra (UC) Sports Commons project;

(b) this commitment was joined by funding from UC and the Brumbies to bring stage one of the UC Sports Commons project to $15 million;

(c) $10 million from the Commonwealth’s Regional Development Fund was committed in August to accommodate regional sports infrastructure and health programs within the UC Sports Commons;

(d) this grant was budget funded; and

(e) the incoming Commonwealth Government has said that it will not honour Regional Development Fund commitments made by the former Government; and

(2) supports the UC Sports Common project and continues to lobby the Federal Government to honour the Regional Development Fund commitment.

The motion I am putting forward to the Assembly today raises important issues about the sports commons project at the University of Canberra. The UC sports commons project will give students the opportunity to learn about fitness, sports, healthy eating and obesity, as well as sports administration and managing volunteers in sport and coaching. It will also provide new sporting facilities for the community and allow community sporting organisations to leverage sports science and sports management opportunities within the UC campus. It is about the delivery of new approaches that drive innovation and investment in research in Canberra, whilst creating job growth in the region.

This motion is about ensuring that all members of the Assembly are doing all they can to ensure that the new federal government is honouring the funding commitments made by the former government on infrastructure projects in the ACT that are, in effect, already underway. What I am talking about is a second whack so far by the Abbott government on the University of Canberra in Bruce.

The first was dropping Bruce from the next suburbs to get broadband in the NBN rollout. Arguably, there was also a hit at universities, not just the University of Canberra, within a fortnight of Christopher Pyne becoming education minister and reviving the old student service fee debate. However, he was soon put back in his box by Tony Abbott. Members will already be aware that last year the University of Canberra announced a new sports hub to be established on their campus at Belconnen, dubbed the UC sports commons.

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