Media Release: 24 September, 2008: ACT Democrats “Sport and Recreation Policy” Release: Sporting Fields are Neglected and Dangerous say ACT Democrats

DARREN CHURCHILL

ACT Democrats President

Candidate for Ginninderra

ACT Democrats “Sport and Recreation Policy” Release

Sporting Fields are Neglected and Dangerous say ACT Democrats

Many ACT sporting fields are not adequately maintained and participants risk injury, says ACT Democrats President and Candidate for Ginninderra, Darren Churchill.

Launching the ACT Democrats “Sport and Recreation Policy” in Giralang, Mr Churchill declared “The Stanhope government has failed the community with its neglect of sporting facilities!”

“The poor and deteriorating condition of sports grounds across the ACT is painfully obvious to users of these public spaces.” said Mr Churchill. “The Government waves away such concerns as simply a result of drought. Yet they are not doing nearly enough to manage these grounds in the best way possible.”

“Parents with families involved in junior sport will know – and many parents also play recreational sport themselves – many Canberra sporting fields are now verging on dangerous. The Government must allocate more resources to field maintenance. Priorities include filling in holes, seasonal restoration of bare areas of dirt, and fixing of faulty sprinkler heads and water pipes.”

“The situation in Kaleen and Giralang is appalling.  But other parts of Belconnen and Gungahlin are no better.” declared Mr Churchill.  “People have told me of sporting fixtures being moved to the grounds of private schools.  If the private schools can maintain their fields, why can’t the government maintain community fields?”

“Community owned facilities must be maintained at quality levels, regardless of the sporting level of the hirer.  But they have been let go and now some serious restoration work is needed.  Surely greywater and captured runoff could be used for watering and some basic maintenance undertaken?” queried Mr Chucrhill

The Democrats policy aims to make sport available to all-, including getting more women and workers participating in sport by increasing the availability of weekday and lunchtime activities.

Pathways to participation is considered important.  For example, the Democrats support an A-League team for Canberra by a private consortium (with some government assistance) to give young footballers the opportunity to aspire to the elite level and to stay in Canberra.

“We welcome the ACT’s inclusion in the Women’s A-League with Canberra United.  Now it’s time for the men.

The ACT Democrats reaffirmed their long-standing position of support for a multi-purpose Motor Sport facility (including a Dragway).  “We still believe that a suitable site can be found, probably in the Majura Valley.” Mr Churchill said.

“We also want to see an overall increase in an active lifestyle as a means of reducing the incidence of obesity.” Mr Churchill concluded

Darren Churchill

ACT Democrats President

Candidate for Ginninderra

Darren.Churchill@act.democrats.org.au

O412 196 473

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