Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Shadow Minister for Social Services
Shadow Minister for the NDIS
Shadow Minister for Housing
Shadow Minister for Homelessness
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Sporting Facilities for the Future

It gives me great pleasure to rise today to speak about three important sporting projects benefiting my constituents in the electorate of Deakin. As part of the coalition government, I am delivering on my election commitments. Before the election, I announced that up to $930,000 would be invested in various community-infrastructure projects in Deakin, and in December I confirmed that funding would be made available through the Community Development Grants Program. I will briefly speak about each project.

Firstly, the Norwood Sporting Club will receive $400,000 to help redevelop the Kevin Pratt Pavilion in Ringwood’s Mullum Mullum Reserve. The club is home to the Norwood Football Club and Norwood Cricket Club as well as to social golf. I worked closely with Norwood Football Club President Mark Etherington, a tireless advocate for the community, to secure funding for this much needed upgrade. Importantly, the redevelopment, delivered in partnership with the Maroondah Council and the coalition state government, will benefit the wider community, with plans for local schools and community groups to also use this space. The Norwood Sporting Club lobbied for this project for many years and, with the former Labor member unable to secure support from the Rudd-Gillard government, the federal coalition’s commitment is the final piece in that puzzle.

The second election commitment I would like to mention is a $500,000 commitment towards the upgrade of facilities at Eastwood Ringwood Reserve, home to the East Ringwood football and cricket clubs. Anyone in the community who, like me, has been down to support the Mighty Roos on a Saturday knows that the existing clubrooms are in dire need of an upgrade. The club change rooms have barely changed since my days playing junior football there, in the 1990s. East Ringwood Football Club President Geoff Buzagalo and I first met in 2012 to discuss the redevelopment plans, which will not only help ensure the continued strength of the Ringwood Football Club but also will help ensure a first-rate facility for the entire community.

Finally, the coalition government has responded to a much needed request from the Mitcham Football Club for $30,000 to install netting at Walker Park, to keep players safe and protect residential properties. President Matt McCubbin brought to my attention his genuine concerns about the safety of junior players as well as the impact on neighbouring residents. It is satisfying to be able to assist the club, local residents and Whitehorse City Council in resolving this issue. Importantly, all three projects create new infrastructure that will benefit a number of user groups in my community and provide a significant benefit to junior sport.

With obesity and other health related issues increasing, I am determined to make it easier and more attractive for our children in Deakin to participate in sport and enjoy all of the health and social benefits that go along with it. I am proud to be part of a government that invests in community infrastructure and delivers on its election commitments.