Jun 11, 2009

Council playing games with Leichhardt Oval

Council playing games with Leichhardt Oval

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 11 2009

Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government and Member for Grayndler, has today expressed concerns about Leichhardt Council’s failure to get started on the Leichhardt Oval project, despite signing a $3 million contract with the Rudd Labor Government nearly 12 months ago.

Yesterday, Greens’ councillors on Leichhardt Council’s Building and Development Committee voted to defer consideration of the Council’s own development application for the Oval.

Mr Albanese said, “In June 2008, the Rudd Labor Government signed the contract to honour our $3 million election commitment to revitalise Leichhardt Oval.

“This Oval is the joint home ground of the Wests Tigers and is used by many sporting teams in the inner west.

“Nearly a year after we provided that funding to Leichhardt Council, they have failed to commence work on this vital community sporting facility.

“In fact, Leichhardt Council has even failed to even approve its own development application.

“Councillors are playing games with the Oval, instead of making sure that games can be played at the Oval.

“About 100,000 children, players and residents use Leichhardt Oval each year.

“The upgrade is essential for the Wests Tigers to continue to play matches at Leichhardt Oval and to improve the playing surface and facilities for everyone.

“It is a national icon of rugby league and has been the home ground known to many of our rugby league legends such as Keith Barnes, Paul Sironen, Benny Elias, Wayne Pearce, Steve Roach and Garry Jack.

“The Rudd Labor Government’s $3 million investment should have secured the future of Leichhardt Oval as a professional sporting venue and a community facility.

“It is astonishing that Leichhardt Council is not doing all it can to ensure that the jobs which this project will create are realised, whilst improving this important facility for the long term.”