In Parliament - Thursday, 25 February 2016
Mr DULUK (Davenport) (12:55:35): I thank the member for Chaffey for moving this wonderful motion. I am a great cricket fan—not always a great cricket player, but a great cricket fan—and strongly support the good work of the SACA in acknowledging the significant contribution of 25 men and women recognised in the Avenue of Honour at Adelaide Oval. There is no doubt that this project would not have occurred without former Australian lacrosse captain, Jenny Williams, and the South Australian Women's Sport Network spearheading this push to organise a petition and working with SACA.
The women's hall of fame area honours Karen Rolton, Shelley Nitschke, Faith Thomas and Joanne Broadbent. All these remarkable women brought something different to the beautiful game of cricket. Karen Rolton holds the record for the most runs scored for an Australian in women's test cricket. Shelley Nitschke is ranked by the ICC as the leading all-rounder in women's cricket. Joanne Broadbent scored 200 runs in a test match against England before going on to coach and mentor younger players, while Faith Thomas was the first Aboriginal sportswoman to represent Australia in any sport back in 1958.Historically, women have not participated too much in cricket and it has always been a bit of a blokey sport. I think women started—
The Hon. Z.L. Bettison: Backyard cricket.
Mr DULUK: Backyard cricket, indeed, but women's cricket started taking off in the 1990s. I recall, when I lined up for Marryatville High School's year 8 Bs, there were two women in our team, Alice Johnswood and Michelle Calvert, and they played cricket as hard as the rest of them. Alice went on to play a lot of women's cricket, and I think she still does.
In the last 20 years we have really seen the development of women's cricket in this state, and nationally as well. The launch of the Women's Big Bash League this year has been a huge success, and this season's inaugural WBBL televised matches have had a free-to-air television audience three times bigger than A-League soccer, which has obviously been around for many years, so that is a true testament to the game of cricket.
Not only cricket but sport more generally breeds and encourages excellence through the blood, sweat and tears of competition. One thing that sport does—and I suppose the member for Chaffey's motion talks about sport more generally—is to encourage participation, which is so important. In today's society, it is key to ensure there is active participation in sport, and the role of government is vital in this area.
When it comes to sport participation, the government's role is huge, and it is not just about talking but it is actually about providing funding for grassroots sports and providing funding for women's sport in particular, as we are debating the motion today. It is not just about platitudes; it is actually getting out there.
As the member for Chaffey can account for, we have seen a reduction in community grassroots funding in South Australia from this government, and it is across the board. We get a lot of fluff but not too many feathers from those opposite when it comes to women's sport.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am not sure what you mean by that.
Mr DULUK: There are a huge amount of benefits that come from community sport, and we are all better off for the involvement of women in sport and women in cricket. We have female cricket umpires and we have a wonderful domestic competition here. The more kids who get involved in cricket, the better we will be all around.