The Battle For Sport

johnboy 25 October 2011

This morning the Liberals’ Zed Seselja re-iterated how much he likes sport, following on from his policy foray last week.

“Community sport has been neglected by ACT Labor for too long. Under their governance, 41 ovals have been closed due to lack of water and despite above average rainfall, many ovals remain closed or in disrepair.

“Ground fees have also increased by as much as 135 per cent, making it very difficult for large families to afford organised sporting activities.

“By cutting ground training and match fees, we will help Canberra families with the cost burden of junior sports and encourage greater participation in these important activities.

“We will also provide grants of up to $350,000 to assist in the upgrade of existing sporting facilities, many of which are currently unusable due to neglect under ACT Labor. This is new funding over and beyond other sporting grants and maintenance programs.

This evening Andrew Barr has held forth on how very much he’s done for local sport:

Today in the Legislative Assembly it was revealed that the ACT Labor Government has committed over $36 million to upgrading and building new sporting facilities for Canberrans this year.

This investment is over 10 times that promised by the opposition last week who have announced they would deliver less than 10 per cent of the funding already delivered by the ACT Labor Government this year alone.

Keeping the Canberra community active and improving sport and recreation facilities, is a key priority for the ACT Government.

This financial year the Government is spending over $36 million on sporting facilities, which are all initiatives that the Canberra Liberals have voted against in the 2011-12 Budget. These investments include:

• $26.3 million for the Gungahlin Pool,
• $2.8 million for upgrades to Stromlo Forest Park,
• $2.1 million for the Tuggeranong Multi-use Indoor Community Facility and Men Shed,
• $2 million for the redevelopment of the Kippax District Playing Fields,
• $1.1 million for the restoration of Charnwood and Isabella Plains Ovals,
• $500,000 for upgrades to the Fairbairn motorsport complex, and
• $200,000 for a feasibility study into future sporting facilities in Molonglo.

Unlike the opposition, the ACT Labor Government has supported community sporting organisations with real action over many years – not just a throw away policy announcement after the last three years of inaction and silence.

Fundamentally both the major parties are inherently authoritarian, and the Greens are collectivist. So they all love team sport.

They’ll walk nostril deep through a mile of vomit to be seen to be supporting this stuff.

And fundamentally there’s nothing wrong with teaching a bit of discipline and teamwork.

But it would be nice if we could also keep the facilities available so that friends of all ages can find some space for a pickup game of football, just throwing the frisbee around, or flying a kite.

Here’s hoping more general active lifestyle initiatives don’t make way for the focus on organised team sports.

In general any community sport funding is preferable to propping up major league teams.

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