Sports is a core part of our culture and communities in Australia. We can invest in infrastructure now that will pay us back in so many ways for years to come.
Many Gungahlin sports fields are not fit for purpose. A small mound is visible in the new Taylor fields. The Nicholls ovals are dangerously worn. Neither have women’s change facilities, and Taylor has no proper facilities at all! The Hall Bushrangers share both of these ovals because the Hall oval also has no facilities, including lights.
Sporting clubs bring community connections, mental and physical health benefits, economic activity, and so much more. The younger players with Gungahlin Bulls Rugby League Club are the under-6’s, where they are developing a life-long love for sports. One of the managers at Gungahlin Eagles has volunteered for over 50 years, since they were the Daramalan Eagles. Incidentally, I’m a Dara boy too, but Rugby was never my strength.
Even though there is something here for all ages, we aren’t investing properly.
Nicholls ovals are in a terrible state of disrepair. The condition of the grounds has been blamed for multiple lower leg injuries as the surface is extremely hard and uneven. There are no dedicated women’s changing facilities.
The Gungahlin Eagles (Facebook, website) are unable to accept an invitation to play games at the Gungahlin enclosed oval. With 6 games of Union played on game days, it is not possible to fit at the single oval at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval.
Taylor playing fields
The Gungahlin Bulls (Facebook) have been told Taylor is their club’s home, but they cannot play games there yet because it is not fit for purpose. Instead, they still share the Nicholls ovals with the Gungahlin Eagles.
Taylor playing fields recently opened, but the fields are visibly uneven. The grounds looked as if they were spray painted green before handover. Within weeks, the true colours were showing.
The fields have no permanent facilities, only 2 shipping containers. One is a canteen, and the other has a few toilets. Contrary to advice, the containers have not been plumbed in. The sink in the canteen doesn’t work, and the toilets will be emptied regularly.
Money spent on sporting facilities is an investment. It pays us back many times over in mental and physical health benefits, economic activity, and community spirit.
Children who learn and love a team sport grow up with many advantages. We should make this advantage accessible to everyone. As well as facilities upgrades, I will introduce the ACT Active Kids program.
- I commit to bringing all major Gungahlin sports fields up to at least “fit for purpose” levels.
- I commit to two new clubhouses, one at Taylor and one in Hall. If possible, these will include hireable community event space.
- I commit to ensuring all our sporting clubs have safe and reasonable grounds for training and games. This will include upgrades at Nicholls and Taylor.
- I will call for funding for an ACT Active Kids program.