Pitch for state sup­port

SPORTS PARK MISSES OUT

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis Should the gov­ern­ment help fund the park? @the­druitt

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.

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