Tennis

Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:05): Thank you very much, sir.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr DULUK: It's your clock we are winding down. My question is to the Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing. Can the minister update the house on how the Marshall Liberal government's investment in tennis will grow grassroots participation across the state?

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:06): I thank the member for Waite for the question. It's good to be delivering for South Australia. Those on the other side wouldn't understand, but it's very good to be delivering for the people of South Australia, and the member for Waite knows how important sport is—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —at a grassroots level, right through to an elite level.

The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Lee is back!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: The Blackwood Tennis Club and the Netherby Tennis Club are in his electorate, and I hear from people who attend that club that they think the member for Waite is just ace. They think he is just ace. The Marshall government supports sport.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: We support participation at the grassroots level, and that's also why we have actually increased the sports vouchers to $100 from $50. We know how important it is for junior athletes, young people, to get involved in sport in their community clubs, to play and be healthy, and we are very keen to implement that. We are keen to grow the number of young people, too, who take up these vouchers. That's why we have included dance as well, to get young people active and out there in our community.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: On that side, they are talking about no funding. They left no funding for the sports vouchers. We doubled the sports vouchers. Isn't that funny? They cannot add up on that side of the house.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: We are very proud of our policy, and we will be supporting grassroots sport and making sure young people are playing.

Ms Hildyard interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: The member for Reynell might not like young people—

The SPEAKER: The member for Reynell is warned for a second and final time.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —playing sport. She is interjecting and she may not like people playing grassroots sport, but we support youngsters on this side of the chamber. When we talk about tennis—

The Hon. L.W.K. Bignell interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Mawson is warned for a second and final time.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —as the member for Waite did, we want to make sure that there is a pathway for young athletes as well. We want them playing and we want them active but, if you can believe it, South Australia in the City of Adelaide did not have an undercover tennis venue. It hasn't had one for decades. We have been the laughing-stock of all the states. So, as young tennis players have developed, where do they go and train? There is nowhere to train undercover. In the winter months, when it's raining and it's cold, there is nowhere for them to go.

Well, there is now because we are going to put a roof on Memorial Drive. This is a fantastic investment, and it is creating a pathway for our young tennis players, and they have been neglected for a long, long time. This will create jobs, too, in the construction phase and will also give us another precinct on the Riverbank, an entertainment precinct for the Fringe and for many other activities, and I am sure that other sports and other activities will be looking to utilise this event.

The other thing it does is guarantee us an ATP and a WTA tennis tournament right here in South Australia. For more than a decade, the previous government turned its back on tennis here in South Australia. We are bringing back the ATP tournament.

The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: The member for West Torrens may not like it—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —because he ignored it for years, but it is bringing back an ATP tournament. Better than that—and let's see what we hear from the member for Reynell right now—we are bringing a WTA tournament to South Australia with the best women players in the world. We've got the golf this week as well. It's fantastic. We had the Tour Down Under, and the women were outstanding there as well.

We are bringing some of the world's best athletes right here to South Australia. They are talking to Serena Williams and they are talking to Simona Halep, and we want to see them here in our great state. Of course, we know as well that in the Fed Cup yesterday Australia went into the semifinals beating the USA. Ash Barty was outstanding. They are the sorts of athletes we want to get here in South Australia. I just want to point out also a couple of young athletes: Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —Amber Marshall and Edward Winter, three young athletes who will have this roof on that stadium. They will be able to aspire to be the greatest tennis players they can be. Lleyton Hewitt is absolutely over the moon. This is where he began his career and he knows that, with this development that we are doing, it will give young tennis players a chance to follow in his footsteps and be at the elite level. I will finish with a quote from John Fitzgerald:

This announcement probably is the most impactful announcement I can ever remember for tennis in this state…

He has been around a while and he knows tennis. I hope they are supportive of this on the other side as well. The member for Reynell can tap her glass and wind me up, but she should support tennis in South Australia.

The SPEAKER: Thank you, minister. The minister will be seated.

 

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