Oct 3, 2009

Rugby League Central: One Home One Community project

Rugby League Central: One Home One Community project

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

October 3 2009

The Federal and NSW governments have joined with the Australian and National Rugby Leagues (ARL-NRL) in a partnership to further grow the game at the grassroots level and ensure it continues to play a central role in Australia’s national life.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Nathan Rees have today announced that their governments will contribute $10.4 million and $1 million respectively towards the $17.4 million Rugby League Central: One Home One Community project.

“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,” said Mr Albanese.

“The 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.

“This project is what our Economic Stimulus Plan is all about. It will support jobs in the short term while leaving a lasting legacy for the community.”

NSW Premier Nathan Rees said the investment will ensure one of Australia’s premier sporting codes has a state-of-the-art facility.

“Not only will this be a first rate league headquarters, it will be a springboard for the future of the game,” Mr Rees said.

“Once completed this centre will be the home of Rugby League in Australia.”

The project involves the construction of a Game-wide multi-purpose education and learning facility in Sydney, bringing together:

  • All the Game’s administrative arms at a national and NSW level;
  • A ‘Learning with League’ education centre;
  • An Indigenous Dreamtime Centre;
  • Living in Harmony programs;
  • Volunteer recognition programs; and
  • A ‘Women in League’ unit.

The project will create up to 60 jobs during construction, with work expected to get underway by the end of the year.

The Chief Executive of the National Rugby League, Mr David Gallop, said today that Rugby League Central would establish a unique facility that would benefit both the game and the community:

“Tomorrow’s 2009 Telstra Premiership Grand Final is a reminder of how Rugby League brings millions of Australians together.

“Rugby League Central will create a unified administration area for the game as well as creating an important centre for the community – one that showcases the important role Rugby League and its One Community programmes play in helping Australians.

“From Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well campaigns, to the Premier’s Reading Challenge, Indigenous programmes, domestic violence campaigns and Women in League programmes, to simply encouraging kids to achieve in their everyday lives, Rugby League extends well beyond the playing field.

“Recent research data showed us that after listening to NRL players deliver healthy lifestyle messages 53% of students surveyed were encouraged to be more active and 65% said they would make healthier food choices as a result.

“The Learning Centre will concentrate on educational opportunities for all students but will also include specific sessions to engage students who have disengaged from mainstream schooling.

“I thank the Federal and State Governments for supporting a project that will help both the game and the community.”

ARL Chairman, Mr Colin Love AM, said that Rugby League Central would create significant opportunities:

“To have the various leagues working together in the one building will have an enormous benefit.

“There is a tremendous working relationship between the leagues but the ability to work side by side and at the same time to work directly with the community will improve things even further.”