NSW Labor will move that the Berejiklian Government must include a representative from the Hunter on the new board and advisory committee to manage venues throughout NSW when the legislation is put before Parliament this week.
The Berejiklian Government has introduced legislation to bring together a range of sporting and entertainment venues throughout NSW under a single board, including Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Newcastle Showground.
Shadow Minister for Sport Lynda Voltz said that given the importance of McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Newcastle Showground to the network of venues in NSW, the Hunter region should be represented.
“It’s not good enough for the current government to give assurances about Newcastle’s venues having a strong voice at the table; we want to make sure of it by making it a requirement,” she said.
“Merging the existing Venues NSW with the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust creates a huge body where smaller venues risk having their needs overlooked.”
State Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp said that given the size and importance of the Newcastle facilities to the region, the Hunter deserves a seat at the table.
“McDonald Jones Stadium plays a crucial role in driving Hunter tourism, including as the host for several international soccer matches in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup,” he said.
“However the Government’s focus has been solely on Sydney stadiums, while our long-mooted redevelopment of the precinct into a world class facility has been relegated to the backburner.
“The redevelopment of the Hunter Sports and Entertainment precinct must be one of the key projects Venues NSW progresses in the coming years and it is critical we have local representation on the board and advisory committee to move this stalled project forward.
“Yet again we have seen this Sydney-centric government completely forget about Newcastle and the Hunter region when setting up the board and committee - Labor’s amendment will address this.”