I raise a matter for the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs in
the other place. It is in relation to the Aireys Inlet tennis club, which has a
proposal for the expansion of two bitumen tennis courts at Anderson Roadknight
Reserve by installing sand-filled synthetic grass courts, and for the
illumination of those courts.
The tennis club is a critical community attribute that
encourages fitness and activity for people of a wide range of ages and abilities
throughout the year. It provides an opportunity for social interaction,
companionship and camaraderie to the older members of the Aireys Inlet community
who may otherwise be isolated. The tennis club is used not only by people living
in Aireys Inlet but also those living in Fairhaven, Eastern View and Moggs
Creek, who would also utilise the proposed improvements.
Smaller coastal communities that deal with massive population
influxes during summer need to have facilities that they can use throughout the
year. The successful development of this project, if it goes ahead, will provide
the region with a community facility that will enhance essential infrastructure,
directly benefiting local tennis and the broader community. I urge the minister
to seriously consider the application and to support the funding for this very
worthwhile project which is about making sure that smaller coastal settlements
are important communities supported by the Brumby government.
Mr O’Donohue — On a point of order, Deputy President, the
action sought by the member is to seriously consider a funding application that
is already before the minister. Consistent with the two previous rulings, I seek
your advice as to whether that is out of order.
Hon. T. C. Theophanous — On the point of order, Deputy
President, the member is clearly seeking an action from the minister in this
instance, the action being that she would like him to make a decision in a
particular way. The member wants the minister to support this development in
Aireys Inlet. That is a specific action the member is seeking from the minister,
and I do not think there is any doubt about it.
Mr O’Donohue — On the point of order, is the minister
suggesting that without the political lobbying by the member, the guidelines
which would regulate the application that is before the minister would not be
Ms Tierney — On a further point of order, Deputy
President, the application is before the minister and there are guidelines, but
that does not, I believe, restrain a member from being able to lobby a minister
on behalf of her constituents.
The DEPUTY PRESIDENT — Order! On the point of order I rule
that the member is entitled to pursue the matter she has raised and seek the
minister’s consideration. There would be some concerns if a member were working
in the area of government financing and programs subject to funding guidelines,
but the member on this occasion was careful in the crafting of the action she
seeks, and I think that is acceptable.