Page 531 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017
The government’s own ACT indoor sports facilities study final report, delivered in 2015, demonstrated a significant shortage of indoor multicourt facilities across Canberra, especially during peak times, such as after-work hours, when Canberrans are likely to participate in sporting activities. The report recommended the building of new centres in Molonglo and Gungahlin and the continued support of existing centres such as the mpowerdome.
Mr Wall called on the government to work with the owners and to get the centre operational again. But the mpowerdome is not the only centre in Canberra to have closed in recent years. We have also seen the closure of the Kambah indoor sports centre and the Woden indoor sports centre. Furthermore, there is an ongoing failure of the government to build new centres.
An indoor sports centre was promised for Molonglo, and a feasibility study conducted in 2012. Five years later we are still waiting to see this come to fruition. Although we are finally seeing more action on a pool for Molonglo, it does not appear that there are any indoor courts or gym facilities attached, even though that was the recommendation in the 2012 feasibility study.
The sports centre in Gungahlin is even further away from becoming a reality. In the 2012 election the then Minister for Sport and Recreation promised a feasibility study, but five years on we are still waiting. This is despite significant public interest over a long period of time. The Gungahlin area is growing rapidly, with new suburbs coming online at a fast rate. Figures released by the ABS in March last year show that this district is growing at a higher rate than the national average. The government’s own planning directorate has estimated that this area will have over 65,000 people by 2019, only two years away. We know that many of the people moving into this area are young people and young families, active people who need sporting outlets that can be utilised 365 days a year, especially over the cold Canberra winter months. Yet we are still seeing no movement on the promised indoor sports facility.
We want to see Canberra being active, we want to promote a healthy lifestyle, and we want to encourage participation in sports for all age groups. I commend Mr Wall for his motion and look forward to the government’s action to bring this centre back online and to the government working towards sustainable options for increasing the use of existing centres, as recommended in its own report.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (5.50): I note that Mr Wall and Mr Milligan have both written to me about this issue, and a response should be on its way to their offices. They should take the advice of Madam Deputy Speaker, Mrs Dunne, and ask in a very loud voice if it has arrived, so that we do not have any confusion in the chamber.