I speak on the issue of women’s participation in sport. Particularly over the past few years we have seen some exciting new developments. In 2015 we saw the first televised women’s AFL game between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, which in terms of viewer ratings was more successful than the Adelaide-Essendon men’s game that same weekend. In 2015 we also saw Australia’s women’s hockey team, the Matildas, make the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals. Our Opals will compete in the women’s basketball at this year’s Olympics in Rio, and there is our Southern Stars women’s cricket team, who are currently ranked first in all forms of women’s international cricket. These are all important feats in encouraging young girls to join their local sporting club and be inspired by these role models.
But the encouragement to participate must also come from adequate facilities at the grassroots level. Spring Creek Reserve in Torquay is a fantastic sporting precinct, and the football facilities are of an excellent standard. However, the current netball facilities do not meet the local and regional competition needs and they represent the last piece of the puzzle in making this a first-class sporting precinct. There are no showers, there is no disabled access and there are no disabled facilities. There is no umpire space, no separate first-aid room, no trainer’s area and no pavilion storage. There are inadequate toilet facilities, and there is insufficient canteen and administration space.
The Surf Coast Shire Council has applied for funding under this year’s Community Sport Infrastructure Fund. This funding would see the existing inadequate clubroom facility demolished and replaced with a new multi-use clubroom facility. I would like to see the Minister for Sport fund this important project to ensure that all netballers, whether they are training on the courts or playing at the Spring Creek facility, are provided with the adequate facilities that are so sorely needed.