Page 2629 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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To make it worse, from a contractual point of view, when people respond to a tender, those tenders are quite expensive to respond to, by the time they get all the information together and do their calculations. Two such tenders were terminated or not carried through, even though the tenders were let and there were respondents to the tender. I believe some fairly questionable methodology was employed in making sure that one tender in each case was excluded, for whatever reason the government saw fit. Instead of having a tenderer running the pool who, under normal circumstances, would be contributing to the ACT’s coffers, one of these pools at the moment is being run at a fairly substantial cost to the government. That is something about which we will be interested to find out more.

It is also worth noting the continuing neglect by this government of the equestrian facilities in the ACT, despite a memorandum of understanding being signed by the government with the ACTEA early last year. The ever-dwindling number of agistment paddocks is a real concern to horse owners in the territory. We have a great cross-country equestrian facility that has been actively upgraded by local club members, but it seems, once again, that there is not much interest by this government in things equestrian, other than having the Bicentennial National Trail mapped into the interactive mapping service.

The Canberra public have a great appetite for sport and recreational activities, and we have outstanding potential in this city. Local sports and local clubs are the breeding ground for the stars of the future. We have a lot of junior and senior players who deserve much better from the government, having regard to the attention it currently pays to upgrades and planning for the future development of these facilities.

We hope the government can lift its game with respect to the way it prioritises the money that is allocated to the various sports, and that it also has a look at the viability of these sports and understands the real importance as to where the money should be spent, the prioritisation that is currently missing and the planning that is also, I believe, missing to a very large extent.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (5.51): I am pleased to support this year’s budget, a budget that reflects this government’s commitment to Canberra and the people of our community.

This government is committed to supporting the arts and ensuring that Canberra remains a vibrant and thriving city. The budget supports the development of the arts and continues to encourage community participation in and across the arts. We strongly value and recognise the very tangible social and economic outcomes that the arts bring to our city.

This year will see the commencement of the implementation of the 2015 arts policy as well as the artsACT strategic plan. These documents, along with the economic overview of arts in the ACT, provide a basis to continue implementing the funding this government commits to arts organisations and to artists.

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