Topics:   Netball SA Stadium redevelopment; SA public transport; Middle East ceasefire


Simon Birmingham: I’m thrilled to be here today to announce the fact that the Morrison Government is going to commit some $6 million to the upgrade of Adelaide’s prime netball stadium. It’s wonderful to be here with Corey Wingard, state minister for Infrastructure, Sport and Transport. And, of course, the leadership team from Netball SA recognising the fact that we are partnering with the state government who last year announced $12 million towards the upgrade, which was going to allow a partial completion of the upgrade here, the $6 million that we are adding as the Federal Government will now enable the full upgrade of these facilities to take place.

This is all about investing in South Australia’s infrastructure, especially sporting and community infrastructure. It’s about delivering better facilities for young athletes, especially young women, through their sporting careers and inspiring next generations to see some of the best netball players in some of the best facilities so that we get even more young people pursuing one of the great sports that so many people participate in across our state. I really do want to thank Netball SA, say for their hard work and advocacy in relation to this project. They have consistently developed the plans, worked hard to make sure that we all understood the merits and the benefits of those plans and of course, won the support first and foremost of the Marshall Liberal Government with their $12 million investment and now the Morrison Federal Government coming in with $6 million to bring the full project to reality.


Corey Wingard: Thank you, Minister. Appreciate that. And again, we really appreciate the partnership with the federal government. And this is just another example of our state government working with the federal government, working with the peak sporting body in Netball SA to deliver the facilities that South Australia needs. Since coming to government, we’ve invested some $400 million into sport here in South Australia. And that’s been to make sure that we improve the infrastructure facilities for sport right across the state from the elite level through to grassroots. But we also get more people active. And we know that netball has a wonderful participation base, as well as the elite program at the top end and right across the board. We know that getting young people active, getting them out, playing sports and getting everyone out, playing sports. In fact, and active means that we can save their health budget in the long term. If we can get everyone doing 150 minutes of exercise per week, we know we can take hundreds of millions of dollars off the health budget. And this is just another great example, because when young athletes see their stars playing, they get inspired and they want to be part of sport and getting active themselves.

So this is a great facility and the upgrades are going to be very, very well appreciated by all the people that utilise this facility. As Minister Birmingham pointed out, this is a great opportunity to actually do the full stage 2 to make sure that we get the upgrades and the uplift that are needed to this great sporting precinct. Of course, we have athletics just over the way there and the netball facility here. This is a really great sporting precinct in South Australia. We’ve invested in the athletics stadium to upgrade that as well. And again, more money going here in partnership with the federal government and netball as well. So a great result, I think, for South Australia. Another example of how we’re building what matters to the people of this state.


Bronwyn Klei: Thanks, everybody. This announcement today is really a game changer for our sport in South Australia. It’s been a long time in the planning. So it’s really great now that we can press go and make our dream a reality. It’ll be a brilliant new home of netball here in South Australia and also a multi-purpose facility so that we can ensure that it benefits participants right across South Australia. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ministers Wingard and Minister Birmingham for really driving their support of this project as the number one sport for women and girls right across Australia. The sport deserves support like this. This new venue will be the jewel in the crown for South Australian netball, which will benefit all participants right across South Australia for many years to come.


Journalist: What are the upgrades actually going to look like? What’s the end result going to be?


Bronwyn Klei: So phase one has been all about creating a brand new entryway with turn styles, we’ll be opening up the cafe and bar facilities. We’ll be creating some more entries and a better sort of bridge between outdoor and indoor courts. And we’ll also be looking to turn it into a multi-purpose facility so that it can be more heavily utilised throughout the day. The stadium is the second most utilised sporting venue in Adelaide after Adelaide Oval. So it’s pretty well utilised at night and on weekends. But what we’re looking to do is increase utilisation during the day, which then creates more sustainability for ours port.


Journalist: In terms of, you know, increasing how it can be utilised what other sports [indistinct]?


Bronwyn Klei: Well, you can see anything that really is a court spot that needs different court facilities that can also be used as a small venue. So currently we think we seat about 3000 people, but we’re looking to increase seating with this to probably bring it out to around 5000. So anything that is a small, small format, sort of like concert or venue in that sense would be suitable for the new venue.


Journalist: What does this mean for the sport for people?


Bronwyn Klei: Yeah, it’s amazing. I mean, the support that the building here now is about 25 years old, so it is getting a bit tired. What this means is we’re going to have a proud new home of netball. We’ve really first class facilities which will allow us to increase our participation and grow the sport. Really. You know, the multipurpose. Facility sort of allows us to grow out, you know, to make it a multipurpose venue which helps increase sustainability for the sport.


Journalist: What does this mean for you and your team?


Hannah Petty: Yeah, I mean, it’s a great opportunity for netball. I mean, I grew up here playing here, the courts actually older than what I am. So to be able to come through and see the upgrades and inspire the next generation to see, put a great atmosphere out on the court for them, but then so they can inspire us to be the next Thunderbird.


Journalist: And how necessary to think this upgrade is?


Hannah Petty: I mean, our courts are great, but it’s everything else that needs to be upgraded. I mean, you go to other states and you look at their stadiums and they can do some pretty flash stuff. So to be able to now do that in our home state, I mean, it’s only going to be netball’s reputation and enhance the fan base.


Journalist: Thank you. It’s just one other question on a different issue this morning. Labor’s out today spruiking some figures showing the public transport complaints are up 32 per cent since [indistinct] took over the trains, saying we told you so. What are your response to that?


Corey Wingard:  I was asked this question yesterday. We’re investing significantly in our public transport system. Of course, we’re spending some $700 plus million in upgrading the Gawler line we’re electric flying. That and we know under Labor this was on again, off again more times than I care to remember. So our investment is very strong. We understand that during that time, of course, we’ve got substitute buses in place and that does cause some frustrations and we understand that. And we’re working with commuters on that. Of course, more recently, we listen to what people had to say and put on extra express services to Galwer and Sailsbury as well to alleviate that. So we’re investing in our public transport system. We know it was left in a very poor condition. In fact, there were more people using public transport system ten years before Labor left office. So we’re growing our public transport system, investing in that. And we’ve been working with the federal government on that, too. We thank them for their co-contributions in that we know that when the Gawler line is electrified, will be far better for those people of the north. And we look forward to them utilising that system and service.


Journalist: And Senator just quickly on for you as well. I know it’s not really your portfolio, but do you welcome the cease fire in the Middle East this morning?


Simon Birmingham: The announcement of the ceasefire in the Middle East is very welcome. We hope that it endures and we hope that it provides scope for Israel and representatives of the Palestinian people to come back to the negotiating table and to ultimately work towards a two state solution. Credit should be given to President Biden and the United States, as well as Egyptian leaders who have engaged carefully with both Israel and Palestinian representatives and Hamas to get to the point of this ceasefire. Israel has always had a right to defend itself and we would urge all parties, particularly those who initiated violence in this recent conflict, to desist from doing so, to respect the terms of the ceasefire and to be able to engage in negotiations that can advance long term peace.