Oct 28, 2007

Labor’s $3 million boost to Leichhardt Oval

Labor’s $3 million boost to Leichhardt Oval


Anthony Albanese MP

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Water

Member for Grayndler

Tanya Plibersek MP

Member for Sydney

John Murphy MP

Member for Lowe

Maxine McKew

Labor Candidate for Bennelong

28 October 2007

To mark the centenary of the Balmain Tigers and of Rugby League’s first game in 1908, a Rudd Labor Government will invest $3 million to assist in upgrading Leichhardt Oval, one of Australia’s most historically significant football grounds.

Approximately 100,000 people make use of Leichhardt Oval each year.

Leichhardt Oval is a national icon of rugby league and is the home ground known to many of Australia’s rugby league greats such as Keith Barnes, Paul Sironen, Benny Elias, Wayne Pearce, Steve Roach and Garry Jack.

Despite its iconic status, Leichhardt Oval has suffered from years of neglect.

Labor’s $3 million investment will go a long way towards ensuring essential works can be done on the basic infrastructure of the ground, including:

  • increased seating; 
  • ground resurfacing and drainage; 
  • improved public amenities and catering facilities; and 
  • development of corporate and media facilities.

The improvements to the Oval will allow it to be used by a range of community as well as sporting groups.

The upgrade is essential for Wests Tigers to continue to play games at Leichhardt Oval. The much needed upgrade means that Wests Tigers will be able to extend the number of home games at Leichhardt Oval above the 3 currently played each year.

“This is a significant multi-purpose upgrade to Leichhardt Oval,” said Maxine McKew.

“I congratulate the Balmain Tigers Rugby League Football Club for all the hard work it has done to secure a vibrant future for the Club in Bennelong.”

“The Balmain Junior League has experienced unprecedented growth over the last 3 years. Also, 50 per cent of all official registrations at the Club come from the electorate of Bennelong,”

“I’m delighted to be able to help the club grow so that the Balmain Tigers Football Club can continue to produce rugby league greats from Rugby League nurseries such as Holy Cross Rhinos, North Ryde Hawks, Dundas Shamrocks and Carlingford Cougars”.

“The future of the oval will be secured only if a commercially viable football ground can be reinstated, capable of housing a range of community and sporting groups. After years of neglect, it is clear only Federal Labor is willing to make that commitment,” said Anthony Albanese.

“Leichhardt Oval offers an affordable and accessible option for a wide range of users. Labor’s support is an appropriate way for us to commemorate Balmain’s Centenary and to recognise the important role that Balmain and Wests Tigers have played in providing a focus for the local community.”

Federal Labor’s significant investment will enable the renovation to proceed.

The NSW State Government and Leichhardt Municipal Council have already offered financial support for the upgrade program for Leichhardt Oval.