Pitch for state support
SPORTS PARK MISSES OUT
MT Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla has described the State Government’s refusal to fund Blacktown International Sportspark as “unfair”.
The ex-Olympic venue has failed to make the cut despite a budget allocation of $5.9 million for upgrades to sport and recreation centres and ex-Olympic venues across NSW and a further $1 million for maintenance, safety and compliance.
Since 2000, the State Government and Blacktown Council have contributed to the upkeep of the sportspark, which hosted baseball and softball matches during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Blacktown Council contributed $600,000 and the State Government shouldered $736,000 annually.
However in 2013, the State Government refused to continue its funding, claiming the council’s business case “lacked the details required to assess the case for further government investment”. Mr Atalla said the council had been forced to rearrange its own budget to cover the $1.5 million for operational costs each year for the venue.
“The State Government, through NSW Sport and Recreation, continues to operate the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith and Sydney International Equestrian Centre in Fairfield, and Sydney International Shooting Centre in Cecil Hills as it has since Sydney 2000. These three venues will receive all of the $1 million,” Mr Atalla said.
“Yet BISP is a Sydney Olympics legacy site with an international reputation as a world-class sporting venue and it receives not one dollar from the government.
“This is a wonderful venue, with a vital role to play for sport in NSW. It is simply unfair to ask the ratepayers of Blacktown City to bear the cost on their own.”
NSW Sport Minister Stu- art Ayres said: “Funding is being distributed to NSW Government run ex-Olympic venues that have fulfilled their requirements of business planning and maintenance.”
The State Government has stopped funding for the popular Blacktown International Sportspark despite it still being used.