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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 6218

Mr LAMING (Bowman) (10:30): My question pertains to the Marathon Project, which is a half million dollar program to inspire Indigenous Australians to run the New York marathon. Twelve people were recruited last year and four attended New York, and this year they have expanded that to 20 participants. I wanted to understand some of the numbers around that program. First of all, which of the 12 participants from last year are involved this year or have followed up and are participating in community support and inspiration of local people in their communities? Why does this year's squad contain a bachelor of construction management, a bachelor of marketing, an Indigenous liaison officer from a university and a third-year environmental engineering student? Are these individuals who need the inspiration to run a marathon and deliver changes for their community? How many of these have undertaken certificate qualifications? It is our understanding that none have, either from this year or last year. Do they intend to make a certificate a compulsory part of that program?

Could you please enumerate the number of corporate sponsors that have jumped on board the Marathon Project as a good and inspiring idea? If there is evidence to support sending people to an overseas footrace rather than a local one—some of the largest footraces in the world are held here, such as the third largest triathlon in the world—then I would like to be directed to those resources. Lastly, why is that money a better expenditure for Indigenous wellbeing than the Lillawan study phase 2, of half a million dollars, to look after Fitzroy Crossing babies with foetal alcohol syndrome, which remains unfunded by the government.