Henson Park upgrade now fully funded and ready to proceed

Inner West Council

After years of campaigning for an upgrade to Henson Park, the Newtown Jets, the NSW/ ACT AFL and the Inner West Council are celebrating a victory, with the NSW Government finally agreeing to match the funding from the Council and the Albanese Government for a much needed upgrade to one of the jewels in Sydney’s crown.

The $5 million grant will ensure the upgraded Henson Park remains the home ground of the Newtown Jets into the future and also becomes a new home of the Sydney Swans women’s team, who are entering the AFLW next year.

The funding will be used to bolster broadcasting facilities, create female-friendly change rooms and to upgrade lighting, spectator amenity and facilities.

Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne said, “We’ve fought long and hard for this funding and I will happily buy Stuart Ayres or Dom Perrottet a beer on the Hill at Henson now that they have stepped up to help.”

“Our vision is for Henson Park to become the home ground of the Sydney Swans women’s team as well as the home of the mighty Newtown Jets. This is a unique collaboration between rugby league and AFL that will revitalise one of Sydney’s most famous suburban grounds.”

“The Inner West has invested $2.85 million to the necessary upgrade to facilities, the Albanese Labor Government has committed $2.5 million, and now with the State Government coming to the party, it’s time to secure the future of this magnificent ground once and for all.”

In announcing a $2.5 million commitment to the ground in March, now Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese said, “In recent years Henson Park has had great success in attracting big crowds for Newtown Jets matches by marketing itself to families seeking the experience of “old school” suburban football.”

“This project is a winner all round – for the two major football codes, for female participation in sport and for the entire community of the Inner West.”

Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley said, “Henson Park is an iconic Sydney venue in Sydney Swans heartland and we’re excited by the prospect of our inaugural AFLW team playing games there later this year.”

“The upgrades to amenities will ensure Henson Park stamps itself as an elite home for the Sydney Swans AFLW team, as well as providing an excellent pathway and community facility.”

Stuart McCarthy, CEO of the Newtown Jets said, “It’s fantastic that Henson Park, already home to Newtown Jets, will also become an AFLW hub.

“We recognise that Henson Park needs female friendly change rooms, improved public amenities and lighting, and broadcast facilities to allow the ground to be used by the Jets and the Swans into the future.”

Last year, Council spent $2.85m upgrading Henson Park with works that included:

• Returfing and new subsoil to suit elite standard sport

• Install a stormwater harvesting and treatment system to reduce the use of town water for irrigation

• Install new field drainage system, including recycling of water

• Upgrade irrigation system

• Renew wiring to sports light poles

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