New venues board must have Wollongong rep

NSW Labor will insist that the Berejiklian Government include a representative from Wollongong on the new board to manage venues throughout NSW when the legislation is put before Parliament today.

The Berejiklian Government has introduced legislation to bring together a range of sporting and entertainment venues throughout NSW under a single board, including Wollongong Stadium and Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

Shadow Minister for Sport, Lynda Voltz MP, said that given the importance of Wollongong Stadium and Entertainment Centre to the network of venues in NSW, Wollongong should be represented on the new Venues NSW board.

“It’s not good enough for the current government to give assurances about Wollongong’s venues having a strong voice at the table, we want to make sure of it by making it a requirement of the membership of the board.

“Merging the existing Venues NSW with the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust creates a huge body where smaller venues risk having their needs overlooked”, she said.

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully MP, said that given the size and importance of Wollongong’s stadium and entertainment centre to the region, the region deserves a seat at the board table.

“Over the last few years the level of interest of Venues NSW in taking the needs of the entertainment centre and our stadium into consideration has fallen as the focus has almost been exclusively on Sydney stadiums.

“This has led to delay after ridiculous delay and a stream of excuses rather than progress on the upgrade of the Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

“One of the best ways to make sure our needs are not overlooked is to have a Wollongong represented through a permanent seat on the Venues NSW board”, he said.

Mr Scully said that he had invited the new merged venues board to hold one of their first meetings in Wollongong at the entertainment centre so that they can see the need for an upgrade to this 20 year old facility.

“In less than two years we will have hundreds of thousands of people in Wollongong for the UCI Road World Cycling Championships and millions more watching on television and every step must be taken to make sure the city and its venues shine when they are on the world stage. To do this the WEC needs work and to do this work funds must be allocated in the November budget”, he said.

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