Page 1994 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 June 2015

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Of course, some might argue that there is some shade provided at the front of the building, the building awnings at the facility, but if you stand under this shade you will notice that there is a great big light pole in front of you. The new lighting tower has been placed in front of what could be termed the premier central standing spectator location. If you were to make the decision to stand in the very limited shade you would not be able to see certain parts of the ground. Depending on which sport you are attending, you might not be able to see the goals or the throwing cage or the far side of the running track. Spectators who make the decision to stand under the roof of the building would have to deal with this obstructed view.

Why did this light have to be installed directly in front of where spectators could stand? Could it not have been installed behind the building so as not to obstruct the view of spectators to the field? I have to ask: did anyone competent in reading plans look at the drawings and were any of the users of the facility consulted about the exact location of such things?

It is apparent that spectators have two choices: sit in the sun with no shade and no protection from rain or compromise their view. I remind the Assembly that this was a $7-plus million refurbishment that was intended to be an upgrade of what was previously available. It was intended to accommodate a range of event opportunities including, potentially, international events. What was delivered was limited seating, obstructed views, no shade, no parking, poor playing surface. And this is just what has been discovered in the first few months of use. What more is to be found wanting?

These are the sorts of oversights that the ACT community is being forced to deal with. Despite all these shortcomings at the facility and more, such as the lack of a scoreboard, somehow we have seen the budget for the project grow from $4.5 million to $7 million and I would be very interested to hear an explanation from Mr Rattenbury, who, I believe, will speak to this, of how all this has occurred. How can the budget for this facility grow without delivering even basic parts of the facility, such as a grandstand in prime viewing location or a scoreboard or, at the very least, just sun shades?

It is fantastic for the Woden athletics community to have the opportunity to use first-class athletics facilities but it is such a shame that what has actually been delivered to them is so sorely lacking—a football pitch that has been described as worse than it was before, reduced capacity seating, no sun shades, obstructed views, no scoreboard and very, very limited car parking.

As I have acknowledged many times in this Assembly, sport is a serious business for many Canberra families. We have a very high participation rate for people in both formal and informal sport, and we have that because of the many opportunities available to families to get their children involved. We know that if we get children playing sport at an early age, they not only improve their health outcomes in later life but some of them go on to be very successful in sport as a chosen career.

One of the best examples of these opportunities for participation is the Little Athletics movement. In Canberra we are very lucky to have a raft of families who provide

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