Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan today welcomed the Federal Government’s fast-tracking of funding for the $3 million upgrade of Lismore’s Oakes Oval.
“This funding could not have come at a better time as our community is now rebuilding after the devastating flood,” he said.
The Federal Government will contribute $1.4 million to the project, with the AFL, Lismore City Council and the Lismore Swans AFL matching the funds in cash or in-kind.
“The upgrade is a big-ticket redevelopment project, involving an extension of the grandstand roof cover, expanding the on-field playing area to boost spectator capacity and make it suitable for AFL games, replacing the ground’s change rooms and toilet facilities and installing a new electronic scoreboard,” Mr Hogan said.
“The oval will be the same width of the Sydney Cricket Ground and only about one metre shorter. And like the SCG, the new larger Oakes Oval will be the perfect place to watch cricket in the summer and Aussie Rules in the winter.
“The upgrade of Oakes Oval will mean it will become northern New South Wales’ premier sports facility, capable of hosting premiership AFL, rugby league, soccer, and rugby union matches.
“Upgrading the oval’s spectator and player facilities will have a hugely positive effect on the region. I’m particularly excited that AFL peak bodies have already identified Oakes Oval as a potential venue for high level events.
“I congratulate Lismore City Council for its leadership and financial commitment to the project, as well as the AFL and Lismore Swans AFL club which will also contribute to the upgrade.
“Together with Federal Government grants to repair crucial council infrastructure destroyed by the flood, Category C funding for businesses and farmers, and assistance to flood-affected households, means many millions of dollars will now flow through our economy.
“More money going through local cafes, clubs, motels and other small businesses means more support for existing jobs and the potential to create new ones.
“This is a great outcome for our local businesses, their employees and those looking for work.”