I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for the Status of Women regarding women's sporting facilities.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As honourable members who read their Messenger may be aware, after 16 long years the Modbury Vista Soccer Club is fielding a women's side. However, due to outdated sporting facilities and time clashes with the men's teams, women from both Modbury Vista and visiting clubs are being forced to change in the club's social room which consists of a makeshift curtain in a bar. Next year the club is hoping to enter both an under-15 and under-13 side; however, this will be difficult without adequate change room facilities.
I note and commend the Office for Recreation and Sport for committing to assist the Fulham United Soccer Club in updating their facilities, which will provide women and referees with appropriate changeroom facilities to be completed before the 2015 season kicks off. My questions to the minister are: has she had any representation on this issue; and, secondly, would she be prepared to take this issue up with her colleague, the Minister for Recreation and Sport, with a view to lobbying for funding for this particular soccer club?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:28 :30 ): I am not aware of this particular sporting club's issues. To the best of my knowledge it has not approached me, or corresponded with me. But, as I said, that is to the best of my knowledge.
Obviously, I am a very big supporter in terms of ensuring that women are promoted right across all facets of society, but particularly in sport where we know that women are often not given the focus of attention and the accolades in the same way that men are. It is clearly reflected in prize moneys, for instance, which are significantly higher for male athletes and sportspeople than for females. So, I am very pleased to hear from the Hon. Michelle Lensink that this soccer club is doing some serious activity in this area for young women, and I would be very pleased to hear from them to hear more about their project and what their needs might be.