The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:26): Today, I would like to talk about the great opportunities that are in the offering for Port Pirie to be the city of friendly people and also special events. This strategy has been on the drawing board from previous councils, including my period as the mayor of Port Pirie Regional Council, and will now become a reality with the completion of the new $25 million Sports Precinct.
This facility was possible with a $5 million injection by the previous government in 2014 and also $5 million from the federal government. The project includes a new revamped oval, change rooms, a two-storey function centre, a new aquatic centre including squash courts, new gymnastics facilities, indoor splashdown park and pool, and also revamped swimming facilities. It also includes a new croquet rink and vastly improved lawn bowls rinks. Both of these have the latest synthetic greens and great clubrooms.
The previously underused DECS Port Pirie West Primary School oval has been revamped with new cricket, football and soccer playing fields, new baseball facilities and new cricket practice nets, as well as a significantly upgraded school oval. This is a prime example of what can be achieved when shared facilities between the government and a proactive community work together to get the very best results and outcomes.
The new Memorial Oval also includes three turf wickets which are the best in the state, personally designed and overseen by Les Burdett, the expert in turf wickets. The oval also has a very large viewing screen which will show the sports in a similar way to the Adelaide Oval. These improvements complement perfectly the recently upgraded Northern Demons soccer facility, which includes the very best synthetic playing field, complete with new change rooms and canteen. Again, that was done with grant money from the previous government.
The Port Pirie and District Tennis Association has resurfaced all its playing courts to be able to attract tournaments in conjunction with Tennis Australia. Just recently, they were part of the national pro tour for women. Port Pirie Harness Racing Club has the best harness racing facility outside Globe Derby. In fact, some say this track is faster than Globe Derby. The Port Pirie and Districts Hockey Association has great facilities, again with synthetic playing fields, with many of their players capable of state or national selection. Mid North Archery Club has recently upgraded its facility and currently has many budding archers matching some of the best in Australia.
The Port Pirie Rowing Club, along with the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club, with the recently dredged waters around both those areas, the new yachting pontoons and also the new recreation boating pontoons, is able to also attract the best in the state. The Port Pirie Rowing Club went from one member some years ago to nearly 35 now. The other day I had the opportunity to look at their new clubrooms that they developed with a grant from the current government and from the Minister for Recreation and Sport. They now have about 15 or 20 boats in their shed and it is a credit to that organisation.
The Port Pirie Softball Association, along with the Port Pirie Pistol Club and the Port Pirie netball and Port Pirie basketball sides, has also attracted state championships to their facilities. All of the above have been beneficiaries of grants from the previous government and also some from the current government, which would total in the millions.
St Mark’s Catholic College, which is a private organisation through the Catholic Church, has also completed a multisport facility with indoor netball, basketball and other associated activities. This project cost more than $6 million. These facilities, together with great volunteers and sporting people in our community, allow the city to attract state and national sports. The aim is to have a special event attracting many spectators and their families from outside Port Pirie every six weeks. Already we have secured the JLT Community Series Showdown, estimated to be a sellout, with in excess of 8,000 people to visit Port Pirie this weekend.
The South Australian Country Football Championships, incorporating the SANFL Port versus the Crows game, are expected to contribute just over $1.6 million to our regional community. In addition, there will be 10 days of Masters Games in April and the SA Junior Soccer Championships later in the year. This strategy will not only allow our sporting people to compete with the best in the state and our community to see the best people compete in the state but also act as a great economic catalyst for our business community. This facility and this strategy will show the rest of the state and Australia what a great place Port Pirie is and give the city the credit it deserves.