O'Halloran Hill BMX Track

Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (12:11): I rise today to speak about a positive that came out of the state budget. It is something the member for Bright and I have been championing for a long time, and I would like to acknowledge the Minister for Recreation and Sport for jumping on board with this project. I am talking about the BMX track that is flagged for O'Halloran Hill. The state government is putting $2 million towards this project, while the Onkaparinga and Marion councils are putting forward $1.5 million.

This is a great initiative and one that the member for Bright and I have been championing pretty much from the time we got into parliament. Potentially, the member for Bright was very interested in this project before that as well. I met with the Minister for Recreation and Sport for a quick discussion and said we should get together and do something. To his credit, he eventually did, and he brought in the members for Reynell and Fisher to get them involved as well.

That was a real positive, and I think to see it in the budget was great for our community. I worked very closely with a few people to help progress this, and I would like to commend them in the house on this occasion. One is Trevor Wigg, Chairman of the Cove BMX Club. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get this proposal up and to make it happen. I also want to thank Craig Fox, President of the Happy Valley BMX Club and Brent Barrett, President of BMX SA. They were very quick to jump on board when the proposal was put to them.

I also know that Marion councillor Janet Byram did an outstanding job. I spoke to her about this project when she was running for local council, and told her how important this project would be for the community and the great uplift that it would have. She was outstanding. This is a really positive project, and it has great potential. The site at O'Halloran Hill is outstanding, and it jumped out at me and the member for Bright as we pursued this project, because it sits on the former office site for the Southern Expressway.

Some would argue it could have been benefited by an on-off ramp when the duplication was done, and the people of Sheidow Park and Trott Park would potentially agree with me. It could have really facilitated and made it far more accessible for people in the north and the south, but that will have to be worked around because that was not done. The site, as I said, was really good. The minister made the appropriate calls to free up the site so that this BMX track can be built there.

I want to have a look at the potential upsides. This is where I think we and the government need to move exceptionally quickly. There are not many sites in Australia that are set up for international BMX. I was never very good at BMX. Some of my kids' friends are exceptionally good at BMX, and it was explained to me that you need to have a ramp of a certain height to be of an international standard. A lot of the tracks around Adelaide do not have a start ramp of that height, so we are looking at an eight-metre start ramp, I think. Most of them are around five metres, so the great thing about the proposal here is that it has an eight-metre start ramp which makes it an international track that can host international events.

I mentioned the member for Fisher having been involved with this. I think the Happy Valley club sits in her electorate, and the Cove club sits on the fringe of my electorate, in the electorate of the member for Bright. I heard the member for Fisher speaking yesterday, and I just want to give her a little gee-up and pump-up because she mentioned having national events at this new track. I concur with her, and we do want to see national events, but I want this government and I want the people opposite to start thinking a little bit bigger. An opportunity is being missed here, and I want the government and the member for Fisher to join with us and push the minister to start looking at international events.

The thing about this track, as we said, was that the proposal all along was to make it an international venue so we can draw in international events. If you have a look at the calendar for BMX racing around the world, it is very exciting. We will see these competitors compete at the Olympics coming up in Rio. Sam Willoughby, funnily enough, is from Trott Park. He was a Brighton Secondary School student. He won silver at the last Olympics and is a big chance, we hope, to win gold in Rio. So, fundamentally, this track will be built in his backyard.

What I think we need to do, and what I will call on the government to do, is start thinking bigger than just national competitions and look to the international competitions. There is the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, and there are chances for us to potentially have an event there in 2018, if we can fast-track and get this track built. The UCI World Championships have not actually been formally declared yet for 2018.

We know the minister is often in Europe at the Tour de France, and then we have UCI officials coming out here. He often spruiks in the chamber about UCI officials coming out here for the Tour Down Under. I am saying to the minister: get involved with these people, get engaged with these people and let's get the world championships here as soon as possible. To have them here in 2018 would be absolutely outstanding. That would bring those Olympic athletes here to Adelaide in the not too distant future.
We have the money there for the track, so let's get it built. We have the contacts there with people in the UCI. Let's get the world championships here to South Australia to this new track up at O'Halloran Hill. It would be fantastic. It will bring in tourist dollars, it will bring in employment, it will bring in jobs for local people and it will put us on the world stage to a new, potentially younger audience that follows BMX.

This is an exciting proposition, but we cannot sit on our hands. We cannot say, 'There is the money. The track will get built. It will roll out some day, and we will worry about that when it is finished.' We need to be more proactive, rather than just looking at national events. Again, I agree with the member for Fisher on that, but let's go bigger and hit international events as well.
We have a chance as well for the Oceania Championships—another UCI event—potentially in 2018, so I call on the minister to start attacking these bigger events and think bigger than just the local or national events. If we are going to build this facility and we have $3.5 million there, I want to make sure that that money is spent as wisely as possible so we can get our biggest bang for buck and make sure this venue is world class, world standard and really puts South Australia on the map. From what I am told, that is what we should get for the money we are going to spend, so I hope the minister can deliver on that because it is an exciting project.

I mentioned it is at O'Halloran Hill on Majors Road. This precinct is coming along fantastically in my electorate. I am very excited to see this venture go ahead. We have a driving range there as well. Riding for the Disabled have had some problems for a number of years. A wonderful big complex was built for them there, but they have not been able to get inside the complex because of a fire hazard they have not been able to remedy, and they have not yet put a floor in there.

The shed has been sitting there for a couple of years, but people may not be aware that that has not happened so, again, I call on the minister to help fast-track that because this great facility has been sitting there, and the Riding for the Disabled people are still doing it out in the weather, taking the kids on the horses. Working with the horses is great therapy and a proven winner for young and mature age people there who have a disability but, unfortunately, it has not rolled over to operating within the big, expansive shed facility they have there, which is a little bit disappointing.

Along Majors Road as well we have the archers club, which is a great little venue. It is tucked in there; it is almost a little secret. I did get a tour; I went for a walk. I did not actually shoot a round but I went with a couple of experienced archers from the club. They have held a number of events there, including the Police and Fire Games.

When the police and fire men and women from around the world came to where this is located on O'Halloran Hill, they saw the beautiful views over the city. Not a lot of people get to see this but it is outstanding, and the people from around the world were fascinated by how wonderful and how picturesque the views were. This archery club is not big and it is not very well known, but it has, arguably, one of the best locations in the world, where people can go and meet on weekends and, as I say, shoot their rounds of archery. It is a great club which has had a lot of success.

There is a pistol club just along the way and there is also a model aeroplane club just off Majors Road. So, there are some wonderful facilities along this strip. I mentioned the golf driving range as well, which is down at the other end of Majors Road, closer to South Road, on the corner there, and that is a great facility too, and it has a baseball batting cage as well. So, the potential for Majors Road is outstanding. As to the BMX, I commend the minister for jumping on board with our proposal and getting involved with this, and all the people who have pushed this along. It is outstanding.

I implore the minister to fast-track international events. We need to start thinking bigger. The problem, I think, with this government at the moment is they are thinking too small and not thinking about the potential for big events. We are building a track, let us make sure we build it ready for international events and let us earmark them and get them up and running. Let us get them locked in, let us get them ready to go, because jobs can be created and it will be a great venture for the people of Adelaide, South Australia and in particular the electorate of Mitchell.

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