The AIS is the beating heart of Australian sport. It’s also an essential element of Canberra’s sporting landscape. It serves as a place where aspiring athletes can achieve their dreams and is also an essential facility for the Canberra community.
Relocating the AIS to Queensland would cost taxpayers more than $1 billion, but it would only cost around $200 million to keep it in Canberra and provide appropriate upgrades. It’s clear to me and all Canberrans that enhancing the existing campus in Bruce makes the most sense.
The prospect of decentralising the AIS has caused stress and uncertainty for the many Canberrans who work, train and coach at the campus. These professionals have planted deep and lasting roots in our community that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
If we want to successfully keep the AIS here in Canberra, members of the ACT Legislative Assembly should seek to engage constructively with the federal review process, and not throw petty barbs. Participating in the federal review process in good faith will elevate the many reasons why the AIS should stay in Canberra.
My motion called on the ACT Government to positively engage with the federal government’s review of the AIS to ensure a clear understanding of the benefits to Australian sport and the ACT community of the facility remaining in the ACT.