PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: Sport is a massive part of our culture. We watch it, we follow it and we participate in it in great numbers. In my electorate of Aston we participate in all types of sport in enormous numbers. It is one of the real strengths of our community, because big sporting clubs, in concert with the churches, are the major social hubs where people of multiple generations come together and where young people are kept active.
But we have a problem in Knox with our core sporting infrastructure, which is not universally keeping up with demand.
The problem is with our core infrastructure not universally keeping up with the demands. This problem is in part caused by population growth with more people wanting to participate, but it is also caused in part just naturally, because a lot of the infrastructure was built 30 or 40 years ago when the suburbs were being built and their time for renewal has come. Helping to build the sporting infrastructure in Knox to cater for the demands should be a priority for us. I know in Knox Gardens, the Knox Falcons Football Club, for example, is seeking to improve their second oval for the junior football club. I have spoken at length to Lee Metherell and Mark Fisher about this. Similarly, at the Scoresby Oval there is a desire for improved lighting so that they can extend the use of their great facilities there. I have spoken at length to our largest junior football club, the Rowville Hawks, and its president, Darren Humphries, about their expansion plans, and similarly with the St Simons Knights’ facilities.
Bayswater, Boronia and Wantirna South Football clubs all have some pretty good facilities right now but of course they always have further plans. A new club, Lysterfield Wolves, wants to get further established.
Similarly, with the soccer clubs, they have grown rapidly and they do not have the facilities which can cater for their capacity at the moment, and this includes Knox United and the Knox Churches soccer clubs. On the weekend, the vice-president of the Rowville Netball Club, Grant Atkinson, was speaking to me about his desire for all-weather facilities for the netball club.
There are too many projects to do overnight, and I have not mentioned them all today. We need to continue to remind governments at all levels that these facilities do not just provide benefit to the direct users but have extensive flow-on effects for the entire community in terms of keeping people active and younger people engaged. For that reason, I will continue to fight to ensure that we have the infrastructure capacity in Knox to meet the growing demand.