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Labor Backs Western Sydney Football Development

Labor Backs Western Sydney Football Development
August 19, 2010

In yet another example of Australia's political parties backing leisure infrastructure in their election campaigns, Federal Labor politicians have backed Football NSW's $70 million development of a sporting precinct in the north western Sydney suburb of Riverstone.

Speaking yesterday at Football NSW’s current base in the western Sydney suburb of Glenwood , Federal Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese said if re-elected, Federal Labor would contribute $8 million to help make the project a reality.

Makin g the announcement in the heart of key marginal seats in western Sydney, Minister Albanese was flanked by local Labor candidates Ed Husic, Michelle Rowland and Susan Templeman.

Launched in 2008, when it was costed at $40 million, the project is expected to include:

• Nine purpose built quality football pitches (with the ability to be developed to 15 football pitches in future years)
• A boutique stadium (of around 3,000 seats) designed to showcase major Football NSW and events
• Indoor swimming pool complex
• Multi-purpose indoor sporting centre including two international sized Futsal courts
• A physiotherapy and sports medicine centre;
• A gymnasium;
• New offices for Football NSW;
• The potential for Tennis NSW offices and courts;
• A Football College and lecture rooms;
• A licensed club and function centre; 
• Hotel accommodation facilities; and
• A private Football College (this will be the first private Football College in Australia) 

Announcing the funding commitment, Minister Albanese stated “this is a major infrastructure project with regional significance.

“The new Football Academy will support a pathway for youngsters here in Western Sydney and beyond.”

Football NSW President Jim Forrest was elated following confirmation of the support for the Riverstone project, stating “we will develop a state of the art, purpose built sporting complex to help develop the game of football in NSW from grass roots to the elite level. Along with the funding provided by the Government, all of our investment from our existing Parklea complex will be realised and invested in Riverstone West.”

Football NSW Chief Executive Michael Quarmby was equally as delighted and is looking forward to the potential opportunities available at Riverstone West.

“We’re excited about the opportunities that this complex will provide Football NSW members and the general public. In developing a state of the art sporting facility it will, in future, be able to help fund and support our Associations and Clubs and provide a broad complex for Elite Development, Grassroots, Community, Education and facilities to host other sports and interest groups."

Interestingly, in an election when there have been major commitments to leisure infrastructure, football in NSW seems to have been a significant winner, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard backing the Central Coast Mariner’s planned centre of excellence and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott this week backing other sporting facilities on the Central Coast.

In this context, it is interesting to note Federal Labor presenting its backing for Football NSW’s Riverstone West project as being a new Labor initiative, rather than being an existing project.

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