Memorial Drive Redevelopment

Mr COWDREY (Colton) (14:26): My question is to the Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing. Can the minister update the house on the Memorial Drive precinct redevelopment and the opportunities it will create with jobs in this state?

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:27): I thank the member for Colton for his question. I am sure that the Seaside Tennis Club, where a young Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik began their careers, the West Beach Tennis Club and also 2018's most outstanding tennis club, the Henley South Tennis Club, will be very excited by the news of what the Marshall government is delivering and its investment here in South Australia. No doubt, they will be singing the praises of this government and the member for Colton for delivering exciting tennis facilities here to South Australia.

Just a few moments ago, the Premier; the CE of Tennis SA, Steve Baldas; the President of Tennis SA, Kent Thiele; and I were down at Memorial Drive having a look at the first north-south canoe trusses going into place. About 39,000-odd people were at Adelaide Oval over the weekend seeing the first trusses going in, and now we have the north-south ones going in.

There are going to be six of these and, watching them go in today, it was very impressive to see. Each one is about 50 tonnes and 78.5 metres in length. As we were standing there, just watching the workers go about their business, people were stopping and taking photographs. They are very excited about this and I must say it looks fantastic. Nine of the 24 pieces of the roof are now on site, with the remaining 15 pieces to be transported to the site over the coming months.

I will take this opportunity to congratulate Cox Architecture as well, who designed the new canopy and new roof for Memorial Drive, and Kennett, who are the builders doing the work and employing South Australians, which is great to see. I was at the Convention Centre this morning for the start of the road safety conference. Looking across the Convention Centre at Memorial Drive and the Adelaide Oval complex, it looks a picture. It is going to be a great addition to that Riverbank Precinct.

This development will, of course, create a world-class facility, whereby we will be having an international tennis event, the Adelaide International, a WTA event and an ATP event. We haven't had women playing tennis here at that level before, so everyone is excited by that. We know that Simona Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion, will be here for that tournament—she is a former world number one—and we will announce more names in the coming weeks as well.

It is a $10 million investment from this state government in sporting infrastructure that will benefit the entire state, not only for the event in January but also we now have an undercover venue in Adelaide for tennis players, young tennis players and emerging tennis players, to train in out of the weather. Adelaide didn't have such a facility and now we do, so that's great to see. Again, hopefully, we can unearth the next Alicia Molik, the next Lleyton Hewitt, the next Thanasi Kokkinakis, and that would be wonderful for South Australia.

The member for Colton asked about jobs, and I mentioned Cox Architecture and Kennett Builders. Eighty people have been employed as part of the construction of this project, which is absolutely wonderful. As a spin-off in the growth of tennis from this, 10 extra full-time positions have been created at Tennis SA to develop tennis right across South Australia. That is another win, that we are investing back in sport and creating some jobs in the sporting sector. It is very exciting.




Not only will this event bring visitors to South Australia, grow our tourism economy as well of course, but it will also allow for young people to play. As you watch this go up, Mr Speaker, the trusses are falling into place and it is marvellous to see the engineers at work at something that is way above my skill of expertise. Very soon, you will see go on top the new woven fibreglass membrane, which is the roof fabric that covers the existing stands.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I hear those on the other side are not very happy about this.

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: It's going to be exciting for all South Australians. We have a refurbished ITF stand at centre court, as well as the LED lighting on the court. It's going to be wonderful and it will be great for tennis and great for other opportunities for South Australia. I look forward to working with the Fringe and other sporting events that may well utilise this facility and create more jobs and grow tourism in South Australia. It's wonderful to see and it's disappointing that on that side they are not so happy about this. But we are very happy and we look forward to delivering more for South Australia.


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