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Transcript of remarks: State Sports Centre, Olympic Park, Sydney: 29 August 2013: Netball funding



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WARRINGAH

29 August 2013

TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, REMARKS AT STATE SPORTS CENTRE, OLYMPIC PARK, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

E&OE……………………….……………………………………………………………

It’s lovely to be here, it is great to be here with Margie. Margie and I have spent many, many years on the side of netball courts right around New South Wales. I confess that Margie spent more time on the side of a netball court than I did because once you become a Member of Parliament you become a bit of a dead beat Dad in that sense but nevertheless we have spent an enormous amount of time on the side of netball courts. All our three girls played netball. Bridgie who wishes she could have been here today got to Australian School Girls level and netball is a great sport. It is a great sport. It is by far the largest participation sport for girls in our country. Around Australia there are some 350,000 registered players in more than 500 clubs, perhaps a million participants. So, it is a very important sport and it shouldn’t miss out just because it is not the AFL or the NRL or the soccer. It shouldn’t miss out on the limelight and on the attention that people in positions of authority ought to give to sports that are important to so many Australians.

So, I am very pleased to say that should there be a change of government on September 7, that an incoming Coalition government will make $3 million available to Netball New South Wales to complete Netball Central. Netball Central is going ahead thanks to $27 million from the New South Government and a significant contribution from Netball New South Wales as well. As is so often the case with these things there have been some cost over-runs and the Commonwealth government should there be a change on September 7th will come good to the tune of $3 million.

As well we are prepared to put $3 million towards the netball World Cup in 2015. The Netball World Cup will involve more than 100,000 spectators, it will bring 15 other nation’s teams to Australia, it will involve some 15,000 overseas visitors and it will showcase the great sport of netball to Australians and to the world.

Typically, the national government supports cricket world cups, soccer world cups, rugby world cups and so on. That is why we have decided to give $3 million to support the Netball World Cup in 2015. I feel very thrilled to be able to do this. I think that netball is a sport which deserves support and I want to thank everyone here involved with the great sport of netball for what you do, for what you do to promote the game, to improve yourselves and to help other people to become better Australians because of their participation in this important team sport.

We live in an era when it is easy to engineer exercise out of your life. All too often we get out of our house, get into our car, get out of our car get into our office. There is not too much exercise in a lot of people’s lives these days. That is why sport is more important than ever. Not just as something that builds character and builds friendship but it is very important to maintaining our health. That is why I am so pleased for so many

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reasons to be able to make this announcement today. I know that Margie will be pleased because Margie has often said to me that netball deserves the limelight. Well, darling, you’re right, netball does deserve the limelight and I am pleased to have been able to bring this cohort of the national press here to Olympic Park to let them know that netball is one of the very, very significant sports in our country. It deserves support and it will get support from an incoming Coalition government.

[ends]