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11 May, 2007

Mr R.C. KUCERA: […] Successive Western Australian governments have stood up and funded the likes of Colin Thorpe and his organisation, often to the detriment of other programs within the state. Everybody complains and asks, “Why is money being put into footy when it should go into health; why is money being put into the racing industry when it should go into education?” We do it because it is about the quality of life. I could not find anything in the federal budget about national sports programs – not a penny. No doubt it is hidden in there somewhere. Perhaps as we head towards the next election and the Prime Minister happens to walk into Bassendean Oval, or maybe Subiaco – maybe when he goes to Leederville, onto the Cardinals’ home turf; I was there last week – we might get $8 million for Subiaco Oval. Who knows?

Mr G. Snook: Come on the Cardies!

Mr R.C. KUCERA: Yes. And he can come and put some money into Joondalup, because we have provided all that. Members opposite when they were in government helped build that oval, but where is the money from the east coast of Australia to support the people we have been talking about? Talk about east coast-centric! Just three weeks ago we had to fight to keep the only Olympic program in the state, the hockey program, because yet again the eastern states want it back. How many members on a daily basis have kids coming into their offices and saying, “I am in the national team; can you give us 10 bucks?” or “Will you give us two bottles of wine so we can raffle –

Ms J.A. Radisich: Ten dollars! You’ve got to be kidding. And the rest!

Mr R.C. KUCERA: I am a cheapskate; I cannot help it!


Let us take the jokes out of this matter. I have never met a person more dedicated to his organisation than Colin Thorpe. For four years while I was minister he harangued me unmercifully, but he does it for the right reasons. We will look at this matter as a state government, but it is about time that members opposite – indeed, all of us – made sure we say to our federal representatives, “Fair go.” How is it that the Prime Minister could walk into Kogarah Oval and hand out $5 million or $6 million a month or so ago? He went to the Ted Whitten Oval last year and gave out $8 million on a whim. There was nothing about it in the budget; nothing was accounted for. “Yeah, we’ll give it to you.” And the seats are uncomfortable in Sydney! Perhaps we should get him to come over –

Mr T.K. Waldron: Bob Hawke gave us a day off.

Mr R.C. KUCERA: He did, too, mate. It was a great day too, was it not? It took me three days to get over that one.

Mr C.J. Barnett: You should have supported my canal. That would have been a helluva slalom course!

Subject: Water Corporation – Financial Assistance to Canoeing WA [Legislative Assembly – Motion]

Date: 9 May 2007

Hansard reference: pp. 1956b – 1967a [online (pdf)]

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