Stadium opening & Infrastructure Funding

I rise today to inform the House of a terrific celebration, an opening that occurred in Wyndham on the weekend, where I joined the Victorian Minister for Sport, the Hon. John Eren, and local mayor, Peter Maynard, and his fellow councillors to open stage 1 of our fabulous new stadium. Stage 1 of this stadium gives us eight new indoor courts and five brand-new outdoor courts, with another four indoor courts, a creche and a gymnasium as well as other facilities to come in stage 2. It is an absolutely fantastic facility. It is well laid out. It is a first-class highball stadium. I would like to congratulate the design and build team and the council for their vision.

At the opening I talked about partnerships, about what a great example it was of the levels of government working together for the local community, to practically support the volunteers in our community that make sport possible for our residents, and about the importance of health and fitness and the contribution competitive sport makes to that.

This stadium was the largest of the RDAF projects undertaken in partnership between Wyndham council and the previous federal Labor government, a project worth over $40 million, with a $9 million contribution by the former Labor government. Labor cares about communities, and that is why we delivered the Regional Development Australia Fund. We invested more than $1 billion to leverage projects worth more than $2.7 billion across Australia. In total, the Wyndham community benefited from almost $14 million from the previous federal Labor government in funding for 11 projects. They included the Wyndham Vale Community Learning Centre, the Featherbrook Community Centre in Point Cook and various other projects—11 in total.

I note that it is timely to talk about these things. It was exciting to be there, but it is also important that this week local governments are here in Canberra for their conference. I hope my local governments are booking meetings with those opposite to talk about funding for my local area, because they will lose more than possible contributions through regionally targeted funds; they will also lose money for essential services.

There will be millions lost in Wyndham in financial assistance grants that are being cut by this government. This will mean less money for local roads, decent libraries—which of course, as I have said before, are a priority locally to support literacy for our young people—and for well maintained parks and things like our local football grounds getting the upgrades that they so desperately need. Under this government, my local community is suffering. My local council is suffering and I would like to draw the attention of the House to what these cuts will mean to families in Lalor. (Time expired)

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