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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1951

Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (09:52): Sport is a big part of everyday life in my electorate of Robertson. Right around the Central Coast every week you will see people of all ages, skills and abilities participate in or watch sport of some kind at one of our sporting grounds or facilities. Sport is a big part of our community life, and just this week our Australian team the Socceroos announced they will be based in Terrigal and train at Central Coast Stadium at Gosford to prepare for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. What a coup for our area, to be hand-picked as the Socceroos' home before they fly out to what is arguably one of the world's biggest sporting events.

It is crucial that our infrastructure matches what sports players and fans need. One of these major pieces of infrastructure is Woy Woy Oval—a great oval in a wonderful location that is sorely in need of redevelopment and new facilities. The oval is used by a number of sporting groups from across the Central Coast, including the Woy Woy Roosters Rugby League Club, which was established in 1927. The Roosters kick off the season on Saturday, 15 March, against arch rivals the Wyong Kangaroos, and I would like to wish them all the best. The Woy Woy Lions Rugby Union Club also rely on the oval. I was able to personally wish the Lions good luck for the season at a luncheon two weeks ago.

As part of the coalition's Growth Plan for the Central Coast, we have committed $3.5 million to invest in the redevelopment and renewal of Woy Woy Oval and provide modern facilities for players, match officials and spectators. Where there is now a wire fence enclosing the grandstand, Gosford City Council has a plan for a new pavilion to seat hundreds of spectators. With this $3.5 million commitment from the coalition government, their plan can now become a reality. The pavilion will include a scoreboard, change rooms, first aid room, kiosks, clubhouse, amenities, warm-up area and forecourt that will help transform the oval into a place where our sporting folklore can be written for generations to come.

A renewed Woy Woy Oval will provide much-needed investment in community and sporting infrastructure on the Central Coast. It will become a civic centre for a suburb that is adored by locals and visitors, and it will contribute to job creation in the area. I am working closely with Gosford City Council and our hardworking stakeholders to see this project come to life. I thank Karen Tucker, Karen O'Mara and Paul Anderson from the council for their hard work and dedication.

Many other local people and groups are supporting this project, and I thank John Jewiss from the NRL; Chris James from the Woy Woy Rugby League; Country Rugby League Infrastructure and Development Officer Graham Boland; Fred Hartup from Central Coast Division Rugby League; John Kenney and Stuart McGoldrick representing Woy Woy rugby union; and Central Coast Rugby Union President Larry Thomson.

Thank you also to Josh Collins, the former CEO of Easts Woy Woy Leagues Club, who was a passionate and determined advocate for this project, and to all the team at East Woy Woy Leagues Club. Paul Tonkin, from Tonkin Drysdale Partners, has represented the Woy Woy business community, while many others, including Matthew Wales, the President of the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, also played an important role.

In the first few months of being in office, we have outlined more than $10 million in our election commitments. This commitment to Woy Woy Oval forms part of that. I am honoured to be part of a government that is delivering on infrastructure in our communities.