Page 4323 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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more than that. What they are about is investing in new knowledge capability, knowledge that attracts talented students and researchers, knowledge that attracts outside investment and the creation of intellectual property that has a commercial value that can also form new businesses.

These strengths contained within the UC sports commons project were recognised by the former federal government in two ways. The first was the establishment of the sports technology partnership under the industry innovation partnership program. And whilst this was not headquartered in Canberra, the presence of the University of Canberra as a core partner and the proximity to the AIS and the Sports Commission ensured that many benefits would flow to our local community from this particular element of the project. Secondly, the funding commitment of $10 million from the regional development Australia fund to build the next phase of the sports commons project involved not only the construction of the building itself but the development of the various other elements that I have outlined.

It also involved one of the most critical components of the UC sports commons project, which is the inclusion of the centre for regional physical literacy development to further develop UC as a central hub for grassroots and elite sport in the ACT and southern New South Wales. The centre for regional physical literacy development is also about facilitating partnerships as well as learning and research opportunities between local and regional tertiary education institutions, regional communities, schools and the wider sporting industry. And that is why the decision by the new federal government to scrap this funding commitment from RDA to the UC sports commons is very disappointing, locally and regionally.

However, it must be said, given recent announcements, it is not at all surprising. Just this week we have seen the backflip on school funding that was taken to the election in September.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: I know they are very sensitive on this issue, and they rightly should be. They rightly should be, because the federal education minister has floundered from interview to interview complaining that journalists and the public do not understand, it is all too complex and only he knows and he is too busy to even meet with Katherine Greiner and others from the Gonski review panel—

Mr Hanson: Mr Assistant Speaker, on a point of order of relevance, the motion relates to sporting facilities at the University of Canberra, and I think that this sort of dabbling in the federal minister’s press conferences about a different issue is not relevant to this debate.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Albeit it was off the back of your interjection, but I remind the minister to keep to the motion.

Mr Rattenbury: On the point of order, I do note that Mr Hanson regularly digresses to provide free commentary on whatever he likes about members of other sides of politics during his speeches, and in that context I find the point of order taken by Mr Hanson somewhat surprising.

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