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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 June 2015) . . Page.. 1991 ..

(b) that this $7 million facility was originally budgeted for $4.7 million and frequently promoted as being built to national standards as an elite venue;

(c) that the construction was to include internal car parking, upgraded athletics facilities and an improved playing surface for the Woden Football Club;

(d) the seating capacity has been reduced by over 50 per cent; and

(e) the new ground falls short of expectations with a deteriorating playing surface, no shaded spectator stands, no scoreboard, no additional car parking and obstructed views for spectators and officials; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) immediately address the shortcomings of the football playing surface to allow matches to be played safely for the duration of the current season;

(b) explain why the seating capacity was reduced and no sun shades installed;

(c) inform the community how the ground will deal with crowds for major events such as potential athletics meets and Capital Football events;

(d) meet the ground users to assess other shortcomings of the grounds; and

(e) assure Canberra families that local sport and local facilities are as important to Canberra as international matches and elite level sports.

I rise today to speak to this motion, but it gives me no great joy to do so. Before I move to my comments, I want to let the Assembly know that I was first made aware of the concerns about the upgrade to the Woden facility by the president of the Woden football club. He and I met regularly to talk about the club’s concerns and I pursued this issue for and on behalf of him and his club. That man was John Brooks, and it is my very sad duty to advise the Assembly that Mr Brooks died this morning. It is for him and all the people he worked for that I bring this motion to get this facility functioning as it should.

Woden oval has been the home ground of the Woden football club and the Woden Little Athletics Club for many years. In the 2004 ACT election, ACT Labor committed $4.5 million for a southside synthetic track to improve the conduct and staging of athletics competitions and training in the south of Canberra. The government announced it would conduct a feasibility study, consult with interested stakeholders and determine an ideal location for this new facility. It is now history that while both the wider athletics community and the Woden football club would have preferred a new greenfield site at Stromlo, that was rejected and the offer was an upgrade of the Woden facility.

Given the cost of a new build, there was some merit in arguing for an upgrade but, as always with this government, the promise seems to fall far too short in delivery. At the time, the Woden football club were assured that they would not be forgotten in the

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