Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2407 ..
invited to attend Pink Stumps Day at the Bonner Royals cricket club. It was great to see so many local women involved in sport and to have a go myself, although I did only manage a few runs before being bowled out. For these women and for the young women coming through our schools, our female athletes are important role models. With a dearth of female superheroes, our women need real heroes to look up to—heroes like Canberra’s Susan Pettitt, who I was lucky enough to see star earlier this year for the Giants netball team in their win over the Vixens.As we invest in women’s participation in sports here in the ACT, I cannot help but be excited that the investment we are making right now might play some small part in producing the next Susan Pettitt. This motion calls on the government to do just that. This motion calls on the government to help enable women to be the best they can be in their sport. It calls on the ACT to support these and the many other measures in place to continue the progression towards equality for women. I call on all members to support it.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (5.27): In speaking to this motion today I call on the government to actually be serious about their commitment to women’s sports, particularly at the grassroots level. Yes, we can see that there is great support for the elite sports teams such as the Canberra Capitals and Canberra United, but where this government is failing the sporting community, and not just women, is at the grassroots level. They have failed to provide adequate facilities for many years now—facilities such as an indoor pool at Stromlo; indoor sporting centres for Gungahlin, Belconnen and Woden; appropriate change rooms at various sporting venues; and for individual sports such as school diving.
Let me detail these failures further, beginning with the Stromlo pool. A feasibility study was published for the pool in October 2012. In 2015 the government published a further report advising the urgent building of this facility and other facilities in Gungahlin and Woden. Now, in 2017, the latest budget pushes the building of the pool at Stromlo out even later, with an opening date some time in 2020—and possibly even later still, going on past practice with this government. This means that from 2012, and of course well before then, till 2020 the people of Molonglo, Civic, Woden, and Tuggeranong have waited and will continue to wait for that pool—women, men and children. It will not include a dive pool and there is no discussion here of an indoor sports centre, though this was strongly recommended to be included in the facility.
This does not bode well for the Gungahlin indoor sports centre, also first promised in 2012. Last year the minister told the Assembly that a feasibility study would begin in early 2017. Earlier this year we were told that it was being conducted, yet the budget shows us that only now has money been allocated for this initiative—which we, of course, welcome. Besides misleading the Assembly and the people of Canberra, it yet again demonstrates the failure of the minister to appropriately administer this portfolio and deliver on important facilities which help with the participation of Canberrans in a cold climate. Then there is the lack of appropriate facilities, in many instances, for women. By this I am referring to change rooms, toilets and showers. The government’s own report highlights the very basic and inadequate nature of these in many of the smaller venues throughout the ACT.