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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 June 2015) . . Page.. 1995 ..

thousands and thousands of volunteer hours in a number of clubs. They provide support for a wide range of sports, from running to long jump, steeplechase, shot-put and javelin. When these families heard that there was a chance for a synthetic south side track they were pleased that at last the government had listened to them and that their sport was to get some assistance.

But, as with so many of this government’s announcements, the promises too often fall wide of the mark. I am sad to say that, because it did have the opportunity to be a very good initiative. However, in the final delivery it suffers and suffers very badly. As with all infrastructure projects and elite sports competitions, if you want to run any sort of quality competition, whether it is a regional Little Athletics meet through to an Olympic selection trial, there are certain requirements that you have to meet, and many of the very basic requirements have not been met. Instead, they have given the athletics community a least worst option, only preferred over a range of existing local community ovals and hardly a south side alternative to the AIS.

My motion outlines a number of deficiencies that have been identified at this ground and my motion calls on the government to immediately address the shortcomings of a number of these, including the football playing surface to allow matches to be played safely for the duration of the current season. I call on the government to explain why the seating capacity was reduced by 50 per cent and no sun shades were installed. I call on the government to inform the community how the ground will deal with the crowds for major events, such as potential athletics meets and Capital Football events. I call on the government to meet with ground users to assess other shortcomings of the grounds. Finally, I call on the government to assure Canberra families that local sport and local facilities are as important to Canberra as international matches and elite level sports.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Justice, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Transport Reform) (4.54): I welcome the fact that Mr Doszpot has brought this motion before the Assembly today because clearly it is a terrific opportunity to provide him with a solid briefing on the relatively new Woden park, to help him with his depressed view of the state of affairs regarding this wonderful facility, and to remind him that I am always happy for him to contact my office to get a briefing at the site with the staff who are working on the project. I think there are two quite different stories here, and I am glad we have a chance to discuss them in public and on the record.

I think that the new Woden facility is fantastic. As I will go through in a moment, there are certainly a number of issues that are still being worked on, and the turf is one of those where there are some teething difficulties. But to talk it down in the extraordinary way that Mr Doszpot has makes me feel sorry that that is the world that he inhabits.

At the start of this discussion I thank Mr Doszpot for sharing with the Assembly the very sad and unfortunate news about John Brooks. I know, having met him briefly on a number of occasions, that he was a wonderful driver of the Woden football club. I would like to offer my condolences to his family, his friends and those at the Woden

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