Narre Warren South sports clubs

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Sport and concerns sports clubs in my electorate. The action I seek is that the minister visit my electorate to see firsthand the many challenges facing our local sports clubs — clubs that I have had the great pleasure of working closely with over the past nine years as they have grown and helped shape our community.

The Berwick Springs Netball Club, which was established in 2009, is now the largest and fastest growing netball club in the city of Casey. The club currently shares its clubrooms with the Berwick Springs football and cricket clubs. Unfortunately these clubrooms do not have female-only change rooms or toilets, and there is only a single court for the netball club to use. This has forced its 55 junior and senior teams to train and play at local schools and other sporting grounds. That situation is simply unfair on the club and its fanatic players.

The Hampton Park Bowls Club faces a similar situation. Its two bowling greens were damaged by severe flooding in 2012, and while one green was replaced, the other was only repaired. These repairs have failed, and the club is now able to use only the one bowling green. The club has recently been promoted to divisions 1 and 3 and will need to increase its membership to remain in these divisions. With only the one green, this will be very hard to do.

Hampton Park is also home to football, netball and cricket clubs that share facilities at Robert Booth Reserve, facilities which are sadly quite old and in a state of disrepair. The clubrooms, canteen, change rooms and toilets, lighting and seating all require replacement or repair. The netball club has only one court to play and train on and would like to construct a second one to accommodate the significant growth it is now experiencing.

Just last season the Hampton Park Cricket Club took on newly arrived Sri Lankan refugees as part of its E-grade synthetic team. The club generously covered the costs of the subscription fees, new cricket balls, equipment, post-match events and membership fees for the refugees. The players were also provided with the club’s E-grade equipment kit at the beginning of the season, which is valued at between $1200 and $1500. This equipment must now be replaced, and the club is seeking much-needed financial assistance to ensure that its players have the very best equipment.

These are all fantastic local sports clubs that give so much back to the local community. I hope the minister will join with me and take the opportunity to hear firsthand from the wonderful people that make up these clubs.