LISMORE READY TO HIT CHAMPIONSHIP HOME RUNS
The outfields are green, the pitching mound is pristine and now it’s time to play ball in Lismore, with significant improvements and new facilities now complete thanks to funding from the NSW Government, Commonwealth and local council.
Member for Lismore, Thomas George, Nationals candidate for Lismore, Ausitn Curtin and NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro today returned to the Albert Park Baseball Complex to throw a ceremonial pitch at the recently upgraded facility.
Mr George said $4.95 million from the NSW Government’s Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, $750,000 from Lismore City Council and Commonwealth Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Program contributions enabled upgrades such as playing field extensions and better turf, an electronic scoreboard and improved changerooms.
“This project has been years in the making and it is fantastic to finally be able to open the new batting cages and expereince the pitching warm up area which will make Lismore the envy of not only players in Australia, but from around the world,” Mr George said.
Mr Curtin said this investment will reduce barriers to sport participation while also provide a long-term income for Lismore.
“This year we will see the Australian Senior League Championship in May and the Australian Little League Championship in June. Both tournaments are expected to draw hundreds of competitors and their supporters to town, all of whom will stay in local accommodation, eat at local cafes and stimulate the city’s economy.
“By building the right facilities, we don’t just develop strong athletes, we develop stronger communities, allowing local stars to be competitive, learn from the best all while keeping them in their home town,” Mr Curtin said.
Baseball Australia CEO Cam Vale said the sport had established a number of key long-term relationships with the Lismore community.
“Lismore’s passion for baseball and this A-grade facility gives us more options to grow the league into regional Australia and there is no reason why Lismore couldn’t host another ABL expansion team with these facility upgrades,” Mr Vale said.
Mr Barilaro said improving sporting facilities makes a big difference to regional communities by bringing communities together to cheer on local teams as well as providing economic benefits.
“Twelve teams from across Australia will come to Lismore to play ball at Albert Park in May, which means heads on beds, players and staff dining in local restaurants and spectactors spending in local stores,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We all know sport is the lifeblood of so many regional towns and this elite facility will attract new players, lift participation rates, boost health and fitness and, just as importantly, help people socialise through sport, have fun and enjoy themselves.”
The Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.6 billion Regional Growth Fund, designed to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services and community infrastructure for regional communities
PHOTO: Member for Lismore, Thomas George, Tony Duffy - Manager of Major Recreation & Cultural Facilities Lismore City Council, Brett Lee – Project Manager Lismore City Council, Andrew Carol – Baseball Far North Coast, Shelly Oldham – General Manager Lismore City Council, Austin Curtin – Nationals candidate for Lismore, John Barilaro - NSW Deputy Premier, Isaac Smith – Mayor Lismore City Council