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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2508

Mr HUSIC (ChifleyGovernment Whip) (13:46): Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer, Brett Emerton, Brett Holman, Alex Brosque, Tim Cahill, Jason Culina and Kyah Simon—this roll-call of proud current Australian footballers has more in common than performing at the top of their chosen sport; they all hail from Greater Western Sydney, one of this country's largest, greatest and fastest growing regions. Every weekend—across Granville, Nepean, Blacktown, Southern Districts and the Macarthur and Bankstown districts—close to 60,000 players participate in park football. That is tremendous support, and we are seeing improved infrastructure to support these players. For example, last Saturday it was fantastic to see the opening of the Blacktown and Districts Soccer Association's new $6 million facilities at Rooty Hill. Given the talent we have out our way—and with the infrastructure that exists to support it—the prospect that we could get our own Western Sydney A-League team is truly exciting. As recently as yesterday, FFA chairman Frank Lowy, someone who had a great start in Blacktown, said, 'I will not rest until we have a team in Western Sydney.' As a Western Sydney MP and the new patron of the Mount Druitt Rangers Football Club, I say this to Mr Lowy: you have tens of thousands of Western Sydney players and fans that feel exactly the same way. We're ready, willing and able to support that great ambition. Let's give the beautiful game a huge leg-up with the establishment of our own A-League team within a terrific region of Australia: Western Sydney.