Oct 5, 2010

A new era for rugby league kicks off

A new era for rugby league kicks off

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 5 2010

Work will shortly begin on the construction of Rugby League Central, a new headquarters and multi-purpose facility dedicated to advancing the game nationwide and at all levels.

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese today joined NRL Chief Executive David Gallop, ARL Chief Executive Geoff Carr, Country Rugby League Chairman Jock Colley, Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust Chief Executive Jamie Barkley and NSW Sport Minister Kevin Greene to announce the facility will be located near the game’s spiritual home, the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“With tomorrow’s Grand Final set to showcase the game’s existing talent, the Gillard Labor Government is proud to be investing in its future,” said Mr Albanese.

“Rugby League Central will bring the sport together in one location, becoming a focal point for the delivery of its innovative youth education and development programs into communities around the country.

“The state of the art facility will also provide space for programs that advance reconciliation and Indigenous participation, support women’s participation in the game and promote the values of respect, acceptance and a fair go.

“As well promoting the game’s proud history and the central role it plays in our national life, the project is a great example of what our Economic Stimulus Plan has been all about – supporting jobs today while leaving a lasting legacy for the community.”

The $17.4 million Rugby League Central: One Home One Community project is expected to create up to 40 jobs during construction, with the new facility expected to be completed by the end of the 2011 season.

Federal Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean said rugby league is a great national game and has a major presence across regional Australia.

“In many regional towns the local rugby league club is part of the backbone of the community,” said Mr Crean.

“We’re delivering a new national home for rugby league which will strengthen the game from the juniors to the elite competitions and from the city to the regions.

“The Gillard Government is passionate about strengthening regional communities, which is why we have invested in a project that will advance rugby league nationally.”

The Gillard Labor Government is contributing $10.4 million to the project, with the Keneally Labor Government providing a further $1 million.

Sport and Recreation Minister Kevin Greene said approval has been given for Rugby League Central to be built just a stone’s throw from the iconic grounds of the Sydney Football Stadium.

“There can only be one winner of tomorrow’s Grand Final, but this new facility is a win for all supporters of rugby league,” said Mr Greene.

“Rugby League Central – a three storey building of 3,600 square metres – will be the new headquarters for the Australian Rugby League, National Rugby League and their affiliate bodies.

“This unique facility will unite all elements of the code under one roof, providing a strategic hub from which to deliver innovative sporting and community programs around the country.

“Rugby League Central will be a crucial asset for the sport, promoting development of the game as well as fostering grassroots initiatives.”