Page 608 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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Finishing touches to works at Melrose High School are being made in readiness for the opening of this facility next month. Works are on track at Phillip Oval, and finally, the Narrabundah Ballpark community engagement was undertaken last year and design work is well underway.

MS CODY: Minister, how are these investments supporting Canberrans to be active and to participate in sport and recreation?

MS BERRY: This is a timely question given the recent release of the new Ausplay results that affirmed the ACT as Australia’s most active state or territory. This new data tells us that Canberrans are using our open spaces and sporting facilities with just over 85 per cent of Canberrans aged 15 years or over participating in sport or physical activity at least once a week and just over 66 per cent participating at least three times a week.

These results reflect the benefits of sustained investment into sport and recreation. Sporting participation does not occur without places to play, whether that is in open playing fields or more specific sporting infrastructure.

The Ausplay data also confirms the need for our ongoing commitment to gender equity in sport, particularly in closing the participation gap for girls, which is as high as 10 per cent for ages 15 to 17 and seven per cent for ages 18 to 24. The government’s investment into women’s sport stems from a strong commitment to keep making positive change—from school girls right through to elite teams and Olympians.

A love of being active in sport and recreation starts in our youngest years, which is why the government is also delivering Natureplay Canberra as an important program to get kids active outdoors, connecting with nature, exploring and having fun. This program is a great example of a small investment having a big impact in shaping future active lifestyles within our community.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what role has the sports community played in these projects?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary. The success of sport and active recreation in the territory has always been based on people and organisations working together: partnerships between parents and children, coaches, clubs and state and national sport and recreation bodies. These important partnerships are also key strategic approaches to growing participation. The role of the sports community in these projects begins with talking, expressing needs and doing vital groundwork. Often it means community organising and fundraising, skills many clubs have down to a fine art.

This government listens to our community, and the projects we support are a strong signal of our commitment to working with people across many sport and recreation activities happening every day in Canberra. More and more, our local clubs and peak sporting organisations are embracing the opportunities of partnering with government

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