Aug 17, 2010

Upgrades for historic Henson Park

A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will partner with the Marrickville City Council to deliver much-needed upgrades to Henson Park, home of the Newtown Jets.

The announcement was made today by Minister for Infrastructure and Local Government, Anthony Albanese and the Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis.

Federal Labor will invest $920,000 into the project, with Marrickville Council committing an additional $200,000.

The project will deliver essential upgrades to this historic sporting facility, opened in the 1930’s and the site of the closing ceremony for the 1938 British Empire Games. The upgrades are expected to:

  • Renovate the King George V Memorial Grandstand. This will include relacing the asbestos roof with Colourbond metal sheeting and fixing the concrete cancer in the grandstand,
  • Upgrade the amenities in the Tower building and the canteen,
  • Upgrade the old clock and scoreboard,
  • Replace the grandstand forecourt paving, and;
  • Improve player access to the ground.

Additionally, the funds committed by Marrickville Council will begin fixing structural problems with the boundary brick wall at Henson Park.

“This ground has been a part of inner west life and culture for almost 80 years,” Anthony Albanese said.

“It played a part in keeping Western Sydney residents in work in the 1930’s through the Great Depression and hosted the cream of sporting talent in the Empire Games.

“Today, Henson Park continues to serve our community by being host to the Newtown Jets, AFL games, and international Rugby Union squads during the World Cup.

“It is also widely used by local schools and community groups.

“So, it is time to give the Park these desperately needed improvements. I am pleased to be able to deliver upgrades to this historic ground today.”

Anthony Albanese said that supporting local projects like this one were a part of Federal Labor’s economic plan.

“Faced with the most devastating economic downturn since the Great Depression, Federal Labor rose to the task, delivering much-needed community projects and saving jobs around the country.

“In contrast, Tony Abbott has no plan and is a risk to our economy,” Anthony Albanese said.

Federal Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, welcomed the announcement today.

“I am pleased that Federal Labor will be able to upgrade Henson Park in conjunction with the Marrickville City Council,” she said.

“This Park represents a key piece of Australia’s sporting history, having played a major role in the 1938 Empire Games – an event that helped to first put us on the map as nation of proud sportspeople and sport lovers.”

Funding for this contribution will be fully offset over the forward estimates, consistent with Federal Labor’s commitment to return the budget to surplus in 2013, three years ahead of schedule.

Anthony with Marrickville Mayor Sam Iskandar and players from the Newtown Jets in front of the grandstand at Henson Park.