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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1092


Mr WOOD (La TrobeAssistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs) (10:27): In the electorate of La Trobe—and I'd say this is no different from most areas in Australia—participation in women's sport is greatly increasing, especially in newer women's sports such as Australian Rules Football and cricket, but also, traditionally, netball, and that is a sport for which upgrades in facilities have been very much lacking. Over the last couple of years, I've been working closely with people like Marg Jones, President of the Pakenham netball club; Mel Broadley, President of the Berwick Netball Club; Valerie Edge, President of Beaconsfield Netball Club; Penny Asling, the netball coordinator, and Mickey Uren, the coach, of the Gembrook Cockatoo netball club; and, from the Emerald Football Netball Club, Mark Pedder.

What really drew this issue to my attention was my visit to the Pakenham netball club last year. It was actually a tour of the senior sports facilities, where you had the footy and the netball. It was one of those days where it was raining cats and dogs out in Pakenham, and the guys decided to show me around the club. We walked outside, and I saw that all the girls from the netball were lined up. Then I think we went to look at the gym, and then we came back and the girls from the netball club were all still lined up. I actually asked why the girls were all standing there in the rain and they said, 'They're waiting for the blokes to finish in the change rooms.' That's just totally unacceptable, and it's pretty much the standard for those clubs I've mentioned.

The great news for the Pakenham netball club is that we have $500,000 on the way to assist them. In fact, the senior netball and football clubs get, in total, $1.5 million for major upgrades. It's the same with the Berwick football netball club—$1.5 million. Again, when I went and visited the girls, Mel Broadley and the team, out there, they were all waiting for the guys to finish in the change rooms. They had no toilets and no facilities. It was pretty disgraceful. The Beaconsfield Netball Club overall has fantastic facilities, and we also provided them with a $16,000 grant for a new LED scoreboard.

I went up to Gembrook Cockatoo Football Netball Club. It seems every time I visit the netball clubs it's always raining; they put the rain on for me! It was a freezing cold night again. They showed me the little shed they use as a change room—totally inadequate. We've provided $450,000 for them. At the Emerald Netball Club, we provided $500,000, and the great news is that at the ROC Netball Club in Officer they already have $380,000 worth of new courts and facilities.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Zimmerman ): It's proposed that, if there is no objection from members, the time for constituency statements will be extended to 60 minutes rather than the usual 30. I take it there are no objections.