Speech: Official opening of Brighton oval clubrooms

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:21): I rise to speak on the official opening of the redeveloped Brighton Oval in Hove. On Tuesday 15 September, I stood with a crowd of people in one of Brighton's new clubrooms, enthralled by what we had just seen on a tour and excited for the future of this big community space.

As the Mayor of Holdfast Bay Amanda Wilson, the local federal member Nicolle Flint, my colleague the member for Black (Minister for Environment) and I unveiled a plaque together to commemorate the official opening, it was clear that this was a special moment. It was a special moment for the hundreds of players, volunteers, life members and local residents who love using these grounds.

It was a special moment marking a great achievement and a win for the community that was not thought possible a number of years ago. Their tenacity, teamwork and the united vision of many people pulled this together and delivered a great outcome for our community. As I have spoken about many times in this place, these clubs do an absolutely outstanding job. Brighton Oval is home to the Brighton rugby club, the football club, the cricket club and the lacrosse club and I note that they are looking to expand into netball as well.

As part of this project, we constructed three new clubrooms, including new bars, kitchens and communal spaces, but, from the state government's perspective, we were most enthused to deliver new change rooms for decaying old facilities. I have said in this place before that the change rooms at the football club were change rooms that I would not urinate in, and that is saying something. They were terrible. They were the worst I had seen. As Minister for Sport, I get to travel the state and I have seen some pretty appalling change rooms, but these were the worst.

The upgraded space as well is still continuing, but built in around this was, of course, the skate park and the basketball courts. You drive past the basketball courts on Brighton Road and you see them used all the time. This is getting people active, which is a big part of our game-on plan, and it is wonderful to see the life and reinvigoration this has put into the local community.

This overhaul will greatly improve the change facilities for the rugby club, the football club, the cricket club and also the lacrosse club. What that will do is attract new members and people to play. We know the growth in women's football and women's rugby, and lacrosse is very much a men's and women's sport. This is doing exactly what we intended: bringing families out to community sport, and the results speak for themselves. This was a $13.7 million project, with the state government contributing $2 million, the federal government and council also putting in funds, as did AFL and Cricket Australia.

There are a couple of names I would also like to mention. Of course, I have mentioned the Mayor of Holdfast Bay. Matthew Rechner, who is the Active Communities manager, did an outstanding job along with all the local councillors involved, including former councillor Karen Donaldson. I have recognised the federal member Nicolle Flint. The member for Black, the member for Morphett and myself worked with the federal member collectively to create a great space for our community.

Within the clubs, I would like to acknowledge the presidents: Wayne Londema from the rugby club, Travis Kalleske from the football club, Jason Webb from the lacrosse club and Scott Phillips from the cricket club. They have really led the charge for their local communities in this project. I have to mention also past President Kym Steer who did an outstanding job. He was there on day one when the member for Black, myself and the then Mayor of Holdfast Bay (the now member for Morphett) sat down with these community groups and planned this out. It was our commitment at the last election that enabled this to happen, and to have everyone come on board and work with us was truly outstanding.

I am also pleased to note that at the ground—and this is a side issue to this project—all three clubs now have a new electronic scoreboard. Modern technology has finally been kicked in place. The old Brighton football oval scoreboard was ripped down just the other day. There had been a big kink in it for as long as I had been involved with that footy club or had been down there watching games. It finally came down, as did the old wooden numbers that would be manually put up.

The point about the scoreboard is that local business Aria Digital Screens, run by Matt Cornelissen, actually put those screens up. Again, this was a project that sourced local contractors where possible, and to have this local company deliver those scoreboards is great. I know that Matt's kids play football out with the Brighton Bombers.

Again, to everyone involved, this truly is a wonderful project and one that I know the community will be proud of for generations and generations to come. It was sad to see the old club come down. It made me think of people like Mostyn Matters in our local community, who had fundraised to get these clubs built in their heyday. What they have created is such a colossus of support from the local community, with people out there playing, being active and getting active in their local community, which is exactly what we want to see. Long may it continue for years to come.

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