South West Sydney
Liberals splash millions to upgrade soccer grounds
Barry O'Farrell Leader NSW Liberal Party
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The NSW Liberals announced today a plan to spend an additional $47 million on regional sporting grants and upgrading of sporting venues including the soccer grounds at Lambert Park, Leichhardt in Sydney's inner west.
This is the statement issued by Barry O'Farrell's office;
"A NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will commit $47 million towards regional sporting grants to help boost participation and improve the health of the community, NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell announced today.
As part of the program, Mr O'Farrell committed $2.2 million to upgrade Lambert Park in Leichhardt to secure its long term future as the home of soccer in the Inner West and its role in developing the next generation of Socceroos.
The historic venue has been the home ground of the APIA Leichhardt Tigers Football Club since 1954.
Mr O'Farrell made the announcement with APIA Leichhardt President Tony Raciti and Liberal candidates Charles Casuscelli (Strathfield), John Sidoti (Drummoyne) and James Falk (Balmain).
"This is great news for the Inner West and great news for football fans," Mr O'Farrell said.
"APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC is one of Australian soccer's iconic clubs and has played an immense role in the local community for many decades," he said.
"There's no questioning the pedigree of APIA Leichhardt FC with it having produced more Socceroos' players and captains than any other club.
"However, the Tigers' home ground of Lambert Park has sadly fallen into a state of disrepair and the club does not have sufficient funds to cover the costs of a complete upgrade.
"I am pleased to announce that a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will commit $2.2 million to the upgrade of Lambert Park, securing the venue for future generations and establishing it as the home of soccer in the Inner West.
Funding would enable Lambert Park to be upgraded with:
• A new synthetic playing field surface, lighting and fixed seating;
• Installation of new palisade fence to playing field perimeter; and,
• New amenities, change rooms and storage.
Mr O'Farrell said the commitment recognised Lambert Park's importance to grassroots sport in Sydney's Inner West.
"In stark contrast to our commitment, the Keneally Labor Government has shown nothing but indifference to Lambert Park.
"This was best illustrated by the fact it was slated for demolition as part of Labor's botched Rozelle Metro, than ended up costing taxpayers over $400 million.
"The NSW Liberals & Nationals regional sports grants program includes funding for the following venues:
Riverstone Football and Community Sporting Precinct $5 million
Central Coast Bears Kariong Sports Ground Upgrade $3 million
Central Coast - Pluim Park $3 million
Leichhardt - Lambert Park $2.2 million
Mr Casuscelli said: "This is a great win for our community and provides a shot in the arm for local sport."
"This upgrade will enable Lambert Park and APIA Leichhardt to continue to foster grassroots soccer and produce more Socceroos in the future," Mr Sidoti said.
Mr Falk said: "Preserving our sporting heritage is important, and building for the future will give aspiring sportsmen and women in our community a boost."
The APIA Tigers have used Lambert Park as their home ground since 1954 and is associated with over a dozen lower grade clubs in the Inner West and Canterbury area.
Lambert Park currently hosts soccer matches in the NSW Premier League for Under 13 Boys through to Men's teams, as well as Under 12 Girls through to Women's teams in the Super League."
End of statement from Barry O'Farrell's office.
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