Speech: Adelaide International Tennis Tournament

Mr PATTERSON (Morphett) (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing. Can the minister update the house on the success of the Adelaide International?

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:36): I thank the member for his great question and note what a wonderful forehand he has, plenty of top spin, a great slice backhand, a very crafty player who was on display, I must say, at the Adelaide International. What a time for tennis in South Australia, what a time for sport in South Australia and what a time for South Australia.

'Build it and they will come,' and we built it and they came. South Australia has played home to world-class tennis before but, as we saw in January this year, there has never been a more exciting time for tennis in our state. The Marshall government has delivered yet again and we're not stopping anytime soon. I think you will agree that the new roof that we have on Memorial Drive and that precinct was absolutely fantastic and it served our community wonderfully well.

The works commenced in May last year and to deliver such a great project is a compliment to all. The Marshall Liberal government invested $10 million in that precinct to redevelop Memorial Drive and to deliver ATP and WTA tennis to the drive for the first time in a decade. Having such a big event was proof that that investment brought world-class facilities and world-class athletes to South Australia.

This is the first time that a major international has been played in Adelaide since 2008. We had the men's event back then, but we have never had a women's event before, and to see the class of talent on display in South Australia was truly awe inspiring. It has been inspiring to young women as well to have the WTA event here in South Australia. I spoke to a number of young women and girls who were overjoyed at having those athletes here in South Australia. It was sensational.

Of course, we saw the likes of world No. 1 Ash Barty—and didn't she deliver, too?—the first female to win a title on home soil in just about a decade. Wimbledon champ, world No. 4 Simona Halep as well as young gun Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime were some of the big names who arrived in South Australia. Tennis at Memorial Drive made for exceptional viewing for the thousands of people who attended the seven-day event, but it also put our city and our state on the global stage once again, with broadcasts streamed to over 200 countries.

As we know, showing the world what our state has to offer is more important now than ever before. The tragic fires over recent weeks, particularly in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island, have devastated families, homes and livelihoods. World-class sporting events such as the Adelaide International help to draw in visitors from across Australia and the world, and our doors are open to the regions as well.

The Adelaide International event is a major part of the Marshall government's strategy to increase visitation to South Australia and grow our tourism industry, benefiting our state's economy as a whole. January's tournament has provided a further boost to the state's already booming $7.6 billion visitor economy and supported the creation of more local jobs. This event once again reinforces Adelaide as a must visit holiday destination.

For 2020, the Marshall government has three priorities to deliver in sport. We have our Game On, which is getting South Australia active; the grants review, secondly; and, thirdly, the South Australian Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan. The development of the state Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan will identify infrastructure needed to support sports participation from the grassroots right through to the elite, and we know how neglected that was by those opposite. As a government, we want to develop facilities for the future, facilities that will fill current gaps and that are accessible and encourage all South Australians to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Kaurna is on two warnings.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: The plan will include feedback received from a wideranging community engagement process, and we look forward to delivering more great outcomes like the roof on Memorial Drive so that South Australians can have great events and take part in wonderful physical activity.

Authorised by Corey Wingard MP, Member for Gibson. Level 2, 1 Milham Street Oaklands Park SA 5046. ©Copyright / Legal / Login