Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, and it is in relation to the Asian Cup soccer tournament due to take place in Australia in 2015. The tournament will be held in Australia for the first time between 9 and 31 January 2015, and it will involve 16 teams competing for the cup. The competing teams will arrive in Australia some weeks prior to the tournament and embark upon a two-week training period to acclimatise to the conditions and prepare themselves for the tournament.
It is my understanding that around 21 locations along the east coast of Australia will put in bids to host a team competing in the tournament for that two-week period.
I believe the minister is aware that two townships in my electorate are very serious about bids to host teams; they are Ballarat and Torquay. Both municipalities have gone to significant lengths to strengthen their bids, and I wish them all the very best. Having been in both locations in recent weeks, I understand that the work to be done by the earthmoving equipment is well and truly under way at both those sites.
I am asking the minister to press ahead to see if he can provide both locations with the necessary funds that they need to actually sow the turf. The turf needs to be sown in about six weeks time. If it is not sown, they will not have the grounds ready and available for the teams to practise and prepare themselves for the tournament. It will be a major missed opportunity if this does not go ahead, particularly for Torquay and the Surf Coast shire. As members know, the visitation in terms of tourism will be enhanced as a result of not just the players who will come but also families who will accompany the players.
As I said, the action I seek is that the minister be able to provide money in a very timely fashion so that both those facilities can be utilised for the Asian Cup and that we in western Victoria can be very proud to be heavily involved in what is a very important international tournament.