The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (11:46): I thank the member for Narungga for bringing this motion and I rise in support of his original motion. I note the Major Events Bidding Fund, valued at $40 million, that has been put in place by the current minister to attract more events and conventions to South Australia over the next four years. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about sporting events and the significant part they play in the South Australian tourism economy...
South Australia, as we know, hosts an array of sporting events which showcase our state and attract interstate and international visitors, support teams and spectators. Sports tourism is essential to our strong, vibrant economy. Sports tourism is a rapidly growing contributor to the South Australian economy. Hosting prominent sporting events in Adelaide and South Australia creates economic growth through filled hotels, restaurants and retail establishments. South Australia has positioned itself as a destination for sports tourism by promoting our world-class sporting facilities and building its reputation for hosting successful regional and international sporting events and tournaments.
Hosting more major sporting events means more jobs and more investment for South Australia in a range of industries, including retail and transport as well as hospitality. I look forward to working with the tourism minister to deliver more in that area. South Australians' love for their sport and to be able to share and promote our state to visitors through sporting events is something that gives us unique pride. The upcoming Lifesaving World Championships is a great example of this.
As the member for Morphett just pointed out, the Lifesaving World Championships at Glenelg Beach in around 10 days' time is a great example of this, and it is going to be absolutely outstanding. The Lifesaving World Championships will see more than 4,400 lifesavers from 40 countries head to Glenelg for the 16 November to 2 December titles, which will also include competition at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Marion, which sits right within my electorate; in fact, a stone's throw away. Not only do the championships showcase excellence in surf sports and rescue, with the most talented and skilled surf sports and rescue people competing for the honour of being the best in the world, but the event also brings together sport, emergency services and tourism to promote our great state.
Marion's SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre has also played host to world-class events, including the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships, the Australian Olympic swimming trials and the World Junior Diving Championships. The centre will host the Australian Swimming Championships again in 2019, and the Olympic trials in 2020 ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games. These will see people from all over Australia descend on Adelaide to watch our own swim champions in action. The Marshall government is committed to attracting major sporting events in South Australia, as it understands not only the economic benefit from hosting such events but the role having world-class athletes compete in South Australia can play in inspiring people to emulate their heroes, join a club, get active and be healthy through sport and recreation.
The Marshall government will continue to investigate the hosting of sporting events that showcase the iconic places and spaces throughout South Australia. The government will attract events that have a lasting legacy and positive cultural, economic and physical benefit for South Australia. There are a number of events that we are very proud of. The Tour Down Under of course was initiated by the previous Liberal government and has been such a success for our great state. It is a unique event that really fits our culture as well.
We have the test cricket, the three-day international event in the equestrian world and the 2018 waterskiing world championships. The bowls World Champion of Champions is coming up in 2019 at the Adelaide Bowling Club. That will be a great event where national men's and women's champions from around 30 countries will come to compete here. Just to name a couple, the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships is another one in my local area, down at Brighton beach, that has been a great success right across the board in South Australia, as has the Adelaide 500 is another sporting event.
I would like to turn our attention to some of the smaller events that do great things for regional tourism. The country championship events around the state are great at getting people out in the regions and bringing regional people together. The 2019 South Australian country swimming championships, from 10 January to 13 January in Port Pirie, will be a great event and a great opportunity for people to get out into the regions and be part of a wonderful sporting event. The 2018 Country Football Championships took place in Renmark. In fact, I was up in Renmark a few weeks ago with the member for Chaffey, the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, in his neck of the woods.
We went out to the wonderful tennis courts. They have a great event at Easter that a lot of people from all over the state go to. They often camp out the back on the footy oval. They have beautiful lawn tennis courts, and they have a wonderful tournament. In fact, friends of mine have been going since they were in their early teens. I will not tell you how long that is, Mr Speaker, but it is more than 30 years. It is a great event and a great part of the regions. The netball courts over the road are highly utilised by the locals. We know that the Riverland in particular loves to host events, and sporting events are one of their features up there on the river, so that is where they had the Country Football Championships this year.
I might just jump in and out as far as tourism is concerned. If you do go to Renmark, we went to the gin distillery there on 28th Street—
The Hon. T.J. Whetstone: On 23rd Street.
The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I might have had one or two gins and got a bit confused between 28th and 23rd, but it was 23rd Street, as the member for Chaffey reminds me. It was an exceptional place. I highly recommend it to anyone who is up in that area. It is a whole heap of fun and a beautiful set-up. You can sit out in the sun. A couple of people I spoke to were there a lot longer than I was; we just passed through. I think we had a little Bickford's tonic with a bit of the local product, and it was great to support South Australia in that manner. Some people who had been there a little bit longer than us had ordered some food, and the food looked fantastic as well. They were, shall I say, well on the way to enjoying themselves.
I can highly recommend that you get up to the Riverland. I dare say that people who went up for the Country Football Championships might have popped into the distillery there as well and enjoyed themselves. I want to note that Western won the Country Football Championships this year, and Jesse Kemp from Kimba Districts won the Don McSweeny Medal. Don is a great man in country football. He served country football for a long time and gave back a lot when he was with us. It is a great honour to win the Don McSweeny Medal.
The netball country championships this year were held back in June, from memory. This was a great event held at Priceline Stadium in the city. From 26 regions across the state, netballers came to the city. It brings sporting people together from the regions and gives them a great opportunity to showcase their wares in the city in front of talent scouts, selectors and the like, and the camaraderie at these state championships is just exceptional and brings a lot of people together.
Again, there are some benefits for the city as people come to stay and bring money into the regions that they go to. I know that quite a few people stay at West Beach at the caravan park, but they are dotted all around Adelaide, and then they go to the tournament. It was a pleasure to open the tournament and see the players really get in and compete hard. To have the country folk in the city taking part was great, and those sorts of tournaments are just as valuable as the bigger events that I mentioned earlier in my speech.
The national netball championships were held at Priceline Stadium as well. We had under-17s and under-19s from all over the country come and play. I am very happy to report that South Australia won the under-17s, beating Victoria—it is always good to beat Victoria—but we lost to Victoria in the under-19s and that is a little disappointing. It is absolutely outstanding to have a win in the under-17s and to be runner-up in the under-19s. That was another great event that drew people to South Australia. It was not a high-profile event like the ones I mentioned earlier, but it brought economic and tourism dollars into South Australia, which is great. Sport does that.
Back in April, we opened the Special Olympics in Adelaide and it was a great pleasure to be at the opening. I would not have been anywhere else. This was a wonderful event. There were 1,000 athletes who took part in eleven sports, with 800 volunteers and over 300 events. More importantly, there were more than a million smiles in this event. It was a pleasure to have these competitors and their families in Adelaide, and they participated with such joy. As I said, the opening ceremony was fantastic and the tourism side was an absolute bonus.
I was lucky enough to attend the swimming and present a few medals. The smiles on the faces of the competitors were better than I have ever seen. It was great to have the competition in Adelaide and it was great to bring the tourism here as well. That is an important role that sport can play in our community and the tourism sector. We look forward to working with more sports and having as many sporting events as possible at all different levels in South Australia, right across the regions and in the city, to bring more tourism to our state.